Last year, following on from the replenishment meeting in New York we brought you the sad new that the Global Leaders had failed the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Together, the 40+ countries, the European Commission, faith-based organizations, private foundations, and corporations pledged just $11.7 billion, short of the $13 billion the Fund needed just to continue their work at the same level they were currently and well short of the $20 billion needed to scale up their work in a way that would enable us to hit the millennium development goal targets for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
Yesterday we saw the fall out from this failure. At a board meeting of the Global Fund in Accra, Ghana, the next round of grant-making from the Fund was effectively cancelled. This represents a very real and very dangerous threat to the progress that has been made over the past few years in fighting these major infectious diseases and will put the lives of millions of people at serious risk.
We know that with the right funding, the Global Fund and others can make sure that all children in the world are born HIV free by 2015, and by 2015 we want to achieve the UN target of near zero deaths from malaria. We have the medicines, skills and awareness to help end these diseases... and we have the manpower too. We know that small things can make big changes, like expanding the provision of bed nets to protect against malaria or providing basic skin tests for TB among high-risk communities.
To break it down to a few key facts:
- Since 2002, the Global Fund has saved an estimated 7.7 million lives in 150 countries. It has signed grant agreements to invest $22 billion fighting poverty and delivering better health care across the developing world.
- With Global Fund resources, 3,600 lives are saved every day.
- Two thirds of all international funding to fight tuberculosis and malaria, and almost one quarter of the money used to fight AIDS is channelled through the Global Fund
- Exceptionally low overhead costs mean that virtually all funds are delivered to the people who need them. The Fund esti¬mates that 97 pence of every pound raised goes directly to grants.
- The Fund has been recognised for its leadership in transparency and accountability – all proposals, applications, grant agreements and progress reports are published on the Global Fund’s website.
- DFID conducted a review of the Global Fund which found that was “very good value for money” and “critical to the delivery of the health related MDGs.”
And yet the shortage of funds that has been created through governments’ unwillingness to provide extra funding, leaves the progress that can, and indeed already has been made against major infectious diseases at risk of being destroyed. As UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon stated at the replenishment meeting last year:
If we lose the ground we have gained, we will be back to square one – all that effort and investment, lost.
We cannot allow that to happen, which is why, over the past months, we have been campaigning hard in the UK with our partners, Malaria No More UK, for the government to Fund the Fund.
Now it is more urgent than ever that we make our voices loud and clear and tell our governments that we cannot turn our backs on the worlds poorest, we cannot close the door on the progress that has been made, we cannot ignore our obligations to stand up against the injustice of poverty.
You can join our call in the UK by signing the petition on the right and sending a letter to your MP telling them of your support for the Global Fund and asking them to join you in calling for the UK to set an example for the rest of the world to follow by doubling their commitment to the Global Fund.
If the Global Fund has the extra money it needs, it will get us a long way towards saving 3 million children’s lives from malaria by 2015. Not to mention the millions more that will be helped by the Global Fund’s work on TB and HIV, so please add your name to the petition.