(AGI) - Montreal, Sep 17 - At the launch of the Global Fund's Fifth Replenishment, donors pledged over US$12.9 billion for the next three years, demonstrating extraordinary global commitment toward ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for good. Hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who stressed youth engagement as a key to success in global health, the conference welcomed significantly increased pledges from several donors. Canada increased its own contribution by 23 percent, many new partners pledged for the first time, and private sector contributions more than doubled. The Replenishment Conference raised nearly $1 billion more than the previous replenishment conference in 2013, and benefitted from participation by leaders from countries all over the world, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The amount raised will save 8 million lives, avert 300 million infections, and help build resilient and sustainable systems for health. The conference is only the beginning of a three-year replenishment period, and the Global Fund will actively work to gain further contributions in the coming months and years, with strong advocacy by civil society and partners worldwide. Programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 20 million lives since 2002, and averted 146 million new infections since 2012. The Global Fund has also helped stimulate an additional US$6 billion in domestic investments in health by low- and middle-income countries in the most recent three-year period. ?We can end these epidemics for good, if we accelerate our efforts and continue to bring in new partners,? said Prime Minister Trudeau. Prime Minster Trudeau?s remarks at the conference embodied a spirit of compassion and commitment to work across borders and find solutions to significant global challenges, like ending AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. The United States led the pledging with US$4.3 billion, approximately one-third of total funding. The United Kingdom pledged £1.1 billion, the second-largest pledge for this replenishment period; France pledged ?1.08 billion, maintaining their position as the second-largest donor to the Global Fund overall. Germany pledged ?800 million, a 33 percent increase; Japan pledged US$800 million, effectively a 46 percent increase when measured in Japanese yen; Canada pledged $804 million CAD, a 23 percent increase; and the European Commission pledged ?470 million, nearly a 30 percent increase. (AGI) .