Nearly US $13 billion in pledges were reached by the Global Fund on AIDS, TB, and Malaria in its 5th Replenishment Conference, which was hosted by the Canadian government. The $12.9 billion in pledges, drawn from governments, corporation, foundations, and individual donors, will fund the implementation of Global Fund’s new strategy in the next three year.
The $12.9 billion replenishment marks a $1 billion increase from the funds committed by donors in 2013. It is also the biggest total amount ever pledged for the Global Fund.
The Global Fund has reported that its investments in programs to address HIV, TB, and malaria epidemics have resulted in 20 million lives saved. With the 2016 replenishment, it can save 8 million lives more in the next three years.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed CAD$ 804 million, an increase of 23 percent. The US government remained to be biggest donor with $4.3 billion, followed by the United Kingdom with £1.1 billion and France with €1.08 billion. Germany also increased its pledge by 33 percent, or €800 million, and Norway by 18 percent (NOK 2 billion). The European Commission also scaled up its donation by almost 30 percent, to €475 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan committed to donate US$ 800 million, the highest in the region. Australia committed AUD$ 220 million, while South Korea pledged US$ 3.8 million, India US$ 20 million, and New Zealand US $ 1 million.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged US$600 million. Private sector support, including commitment through innovative financing initiatives, has reached US$ 250 million.
Financing the new Global Fund strategy
The 5th Replenishment will kickstart the implementation of a new Global Fund strategy that aims to end the HIV, TB, and malaria epidemics by 2030. This new strategy puts an unprecedented emphasis on investing in key population-focussed interventions and in supporting countries with high disease burden and with the least capacity to pay. The new strategy also prioritises human rights-based and gender transformative interventions, and integrates key populations in different stages of strategy implementation and program development.
This fresh investment, the Global Fund targets to prevent 300 million new infections and achieve US$ 290 billion in economic gains.
Scale up through this new investment, however, also relies on the effective implementation of the Global Fund’s new sustainability, transition, and co-financing policy. The financing requirements for the ‘ending epidemics’ strategy exceeds current commitment from the international donors. The total resource needs to end the epidemics set an important reminder that while the success of the 5th Replenishment should be celebrated, more resources have to be mobilised and unrelenting political will on the part of governments need to be exercised. Thru the co-financing requirements, the Global Fund aims to mobilise US$ 41 billion in domestic funding to support HIV, TB, and malaria programs. The governments of Global Fund-eligible countries need to increase their investment to achieve the ambitious targets laid out in the new ‘ending epidemics’ strategy.
Another challenge is to ensure allocative efficiency to guarantee that the resources mobilised domestically or internationally go to the right programs to yield the most impact. This requires a scale up in advocacy for the involvement of key populations, especially in ensuring that the human rights and gender equality components of the strategy are integrated in national strategic plans, funded and effectively implemented.
APCASO is the host of the Global Fund Advocates Network-Asia Pacific (GFAN-AP), a network of NGOs and advocates in Asia-Pacific pushing for a fully-funded and effective Global Fund.
*With reports from RD Marte, Executive Director of APCASO
(Featured photo from Facebook page of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau)