Yesterday the UK Government led the international donor community in pledging their support for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Yesterday the Secretary of State for the Department of International Development, Justine Greening, pledged the UK’s continued support for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This was to the tune of £1 billion, which is a huge investment, but it is money well spent.
The Global Fund is moving towards its fourth replenishment cycle for the period of 2014-2016 and this may prove to be its most crucial yet. Throughout 2013, the Global Fund, along with members of civil society has been working with key donors across the world to ensure they pledge to replenish the fund. As one of the largest contributors, the UK is seen as critical in ensuring the continued success of the Global Fund.
With the fight against the three diseases at an important crossroads in the lead-up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline, and with a challenging financial context, the world faces a stark choice between losing momentum or maintaining and accelerating the progress made to date. The Global Fund, by virtue of its scale and track record, is an essential partner in this battle.
The Global Fund was established over 10 years ago, reflecting a shared global commitment to fighting three of the world's most destructive diseases. It has since helped to fund a rapid scale-up in the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria across more than 150 countries, approving US$ 22.4 billion in grants by mid-2011 and contributing to millions of lives saved.
This has resulted in the Global Fund becoming a leading funder of international health. Its investments have contributed to significant declines in deaths and infections from the three diseases. They have also helped bring about a strong link between funding and results, and a change in how communities are engaged in health planning and delivery.
In its 2012-2016 strategy, the Global Fund committed to work with countries and partners to sustain and accelerate achievements so far through substantial contributions to ambitious international goals. To achieve this, it has shifted to a new model of ‘investing for impact’: it is investing strategically in areas with high potential for impact and strong value for money; it provides funding in more proactive, more flexible, more predictable and more effective ways; and it is more engaged in supporting grant implementation success.
Malaria Consortium has a number of projects which are supported by the Global Fund which help demonstrate the broad scope of its work. In Uganda, with the Global Fund’s support, we are working with the Ministry of Health to distribute approximately 20.5 million long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) nationwide over the course of the next 15 months, to achieve universal coverage (one net for every two people). In Thailand, we are working closely with the Thai National Malaria Control Programme, as well as with NGOs serving refugee camps along Thai-Myanmar border, to manage artemisinin resistance and work towards malaria elimination in the country.
In November the Global Fund board will meet at a pledging conference to outline funding for the next three years. The UK’s announcement to replenish the Global Fund this week is the first of a number of key commitments to be made in the coming months. The US is expected to follow suit shortly, along with the EU. But in order for us to control these three killers it is imperative that the international community continues to support the Global Fund.
Charles Nelson, Malaria Consortium’s Chief Executive, says:
"The UK Government has shown great leadership in reaffirming their commitment to tackling these three killer diseases through their support for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This is welcome news that will see 32 million more insecticide-treated nets delivered over the next three years to help prevent malaria.
It is now crucial that other key donors follow the UK’s lead and pledge their support for the Global Fund. The UK’s £1 billion is certainly a big step in the right direction but more financial commitments are desperately needed if we are to reach $15 billion needed to end these diseases"