In a statement ahead of the Global Fund Preparatory meeting, politicians from four host nations say a stronger, renewed partnership is needed in the global health response.
To finally eliminate AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, key donor countries like the UK must again demonstrate leadership and “engage deeply and join together with affected communities” at the Global Fund’s Preparatory Meeting this week on 23rd to 24th February, African parliamentarians argue.
Seven parliamentarians from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal have added their voices to the statement issued today, coinciding with the publishing of the investment case.
They state that they are proud that their nations are hosting such an important milestone in the funding replenishment cycle of the Global Fund, as African leadership has partnership at its core.
Furthermore, they add that in doing so they are saying that “implementing countries – those that benefit from the Fund – not only hold faith in the results it delivers, but are ourselves rightly leading partners in this fight.” This comes at a critical moment, following a Global Fund Results Report, that detailed how COVID-19 set back the global health response, with key programmatic results going backward for the first time in 2020.
In particular they highlight the story of a young Kenyan woman living with HIV, Joyce Ouma, who credits the Global Fund with saving her life, to point out how programmes supported by the Global Fund work to promote gender equality in health systems.
Finally, they issue a call for the UK and other stakeholders to engage deeply with the replenishment process at the Preparatory Meeting, saying that the UK and other key donor countries can build on their role in the historic partnership using “the opportunity to demonstrate leadership with strong funding pledges”.
Recent cuts to the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance budget have already had an impact on the global response to the three diseases and, whilst the UK is yet to indicate what funding pledge it will make at the Seventh Replenishment Meeting later this year, civil society organisations view the replenishment as a crucial opportunity to get the response back on track.
Joyce Ouma, a member of the Global Fund Advocates Network who is living with HIV, said:
“The Global Fund has impacted my life in very many ways, mainly in that I am one of over 44 million lives that it has helped save. I have been on medication since 2014, but without community-led programmes that rely on support from the Global Fund, I might not have been so lucky and certainly wouldn’t have the same quality of life as I do now.
The real human impact achieved by the Global Fund partnership is testament to what countries can achieve when they act together with affected communities. These parliamentarians are right in that as the world looks to get the responses to HIV, malaria and tuberculosis back on track, what comes next will prove decisive – it is my sincere wish that global partners agree and act to properly invest in the Global Fund for this effort.”
Florence Eshalomi MP, Co-Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group HIV and AIDS said:
“It is most welcome to see the UK’s important contribution to the Global Fund recognised by these parliamentarians, as well as the invitation to strengthen this global partnership at this year’s replenishment.
The UK Government has recognised the role of the Global Fund in delivering on several of their development priorities, including health system strengthening and ending preventable deaths of mothers, babies and children. By heeding this call and delivering a bold funding pledge, the UK can continue to play a leading role in this effort.”
Mike Podmore, Director at STOPAIDS, said:
“These parliamentarians are right to speak out on the need for donor countries, including the UK, to engage fully with the Global Fund replenishment cycle. The global HIV response has been hugely impacted by COVID-19, with all of UNAIDS’ targets missed in 2020.
The UK has played a leading role in the global response to date. However, in order to avoid losing the substantial progress made against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the UK must deliver a strong funding pledge at this year’s replenishment and maintain its position as the second biggest donor to the Global Fund.”
Gareth Jenkins, Director of Advocacy at Malaria No More UK, said:
“As these parliamentarians highlight, strong global partnership through the Global Fund is essential to continued progress against AIDS, TB and Malaria. Despite domestic fiscal constraints, at a time of greater need – both to overcome the impact of COVID-19 on the fight to end the three diseases, and to invest in the frontline health systems which will help prevent the next pandemic – it’s vital that the UK continues to make a leading down payment on the health security of the world”
Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of RESULTS UK said:
“It is essential that the UK Government listen to their counterparts in countries who are implementing programmes in partnership with the Global Fund and make an ambitious pledge at the upcoming 7th Replenishment.
The global tuberculosis response has suffered catastrophic setbacks through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of people dying from TB increasing to 1.5 million in 2020 and 10 million people newly diagnosed. Disruptions to health services mean that it’s likely the genuine number of TB cases is far higher. TB is preventable, and now more than ever, we need to see a strong commitment to ending preventable deaths from infectious diseases like HIV, TB and malaria.”
- The Global Fund was created in 2002 and has saved 44 million lives since.
- In promoting gender equality in health systems; in the 2018-2020 implementation period, Global Fund investments in HIV prevention and testing for adolescent girls and women increased 107% within the 13 priority countries where HIV burden is highest among this group.
- The Global Fund 2021 Results Report details further impact.
- The UK is a leading donor country to the Global Fund, contributing over £4 billion to date and was the second largest donor at the Fund’s sixth replenishment in 2019. Source: https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/government/.
- For further information on the replenishment cycle please go to https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/replenishment/.
- Statement from African Parliamentarians was released on the Global Fund Advocates Network: https://www.globalfundadvocatesnetwork.org/joint-statement-from-parliamentarians-of-host-nations-of-the-global-fund-preparatory-meeting-of-the-7th-replenishment/