Launch of 2016 replenishment of funds to fight three diseases comes close to goal, exceeds 2013 donations
The $12.9 billion in donations to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the launch of its fifth replenishment Saturday puts the international charity effectively within reach of its $13 billion goal and reflects increases in national and private donations, as well as first time donations from some implementing countries. It is nearly a billion dollars over the amount raised in the fund’s last replenishment cycle, which had fallen $3 billion short of its $15 billion goal.
Following a report at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa that showed the first decline in funding and resources to control the HIV pandemic and ameliorate its impacts since the international response began, the success of the event launching the 5th replenishment Global Fund opens an opportunity to “change the narrative of global health financing,” Chris Collins, president of Global Friends of the Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said. But, he added, “we can do more, with more”
The goal of gathering at least $13 billion to fund local responses to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria was set in a process that weighed the capacities of implementing countries as well as bilateral and private donors, against the work and resources necessary over the next three years to achieve targets set by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the Stop TB Partnership and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, projected to gain control of the three epidemics. While projections say that meeting those targets, and ending the public health impacts of those epidemics will save money and fuel economic development, they require new investments in technologies, medicines and services. Following World Health Organization recommendations to treat all people living with HIV upon diagnosis, and reaching UNAIDS goals of 90 percent of people living with the virus knowing it, 90 percent of them accessing treatment and 90 percent of those accessing treatment receiving medicine consistently and effectively enough to suppress their virus to undetectable levels, will mean more than doubling the numbers of people currently accessing antiretroviral treatment for HIV. And while innovative delivery systems, including through paid community members, and HIV treatment clubs can lower the current costs of service delivery, the specter of treatment resistance, stemming from years of inadequate global and domestic responses to HIV and TB looms, raising with it the prospect of more expensive medicines.
The donations pledged at the launch reflect awareness of the challenges to come, as well as of the value of the work ahead, Collins said Sunday. At the same time, he added, “Our work isn’t done. All partners, including implementing donors and the private sector need to come together to ensure we can fully fund what we need to do to end these epidemics by 2030.”
Kenya, a country implementing Global Fund projects, made its first donation to the fund during the 2013 replenishment when it contributed $2 million. This time the country pledged $5 million.
The United States once again led, pledging $1 to every $2 donated by all other donors, up to $4.3 billion, but that amount must still be approved by Congress. The United Kingdom followed with a pledge for $1.4 billion, with France pledging $1.2 billion, Germany $900 million, Japan $800 million, and Canada $600 million.