The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held its 7th Replenishment Conference today in New York. In 20 years, its investments have saved 50 million lives but it is now at a decisive moment to counteract the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. At least US$18 billion was needed to hopefully save 20 million more lives, get the fight against the three diseases back on track and strengthen health systems. Today, the world came together and raised US$14.25 billion for the Global Fund. Its minimum target was not met, meaning that the Global Fund will have to operate with fewer resources than it had hoped for over the next three years, with the risk of surrendering the gains we have collectively fought so hard and invested so much to achieve.
A historical partner of the Global Fund since its establishment, EU Commission President von der Leyen announced a contribution of € 715 million for the next three years, increasing its contribution by 30% compared with its previous pledge. “It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome this strong pledge. By meeting the target, the EU confirms its leadership in the fight against the three diseases and more broadly the global health equity agenda”, said Patrick Bertrand, Executive Director of Global Health Advocates.
The lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic are clear: we must invest more in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response to be able to address present and future health threats and build more inclusive health systems that leave no one behind. The Global Fund has demonstrated to be one of the best performing global health initiatives, but its contribution to global health is only a fraction of the US130.2 billion overall resources needed for the next 3 years if we are serious about defeating these three pandemics. To achieve universal health coverage and provide affordable and quality health for all, we must go beyond.
The context in which this replenishment took place was unprecedented. A war is raging in European soil, the world is facing dire food and energy shortages and increasing impacts of climate change. We welcome the EU’s continuous commitment to global health and stress the importance of keeping it high in the agenda. Not only because health is a fundamental right but because, as covid-19 crisis has demonstrated, health is linked with many other policies and without strong health systems the world can suffer devastating consequences. As the European Commission prepares its new global health strategy, we expect it to be a true expression of leadership in global health, and to be accompanied by a solid action plan and sufficient resources to implement it.
Tarita Baldan, Advocacy Officer, email@example.com +32 (0)2 893 24 71