LYON, FRANCE – The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) congratulates the Global Fund for raising $13.92 billion at the 6th Replenishment today, with a commitment for a further $100 million to be raised before the end of the year. This is the largest amount of funding raised for the Global Fund in its history.
But is it time to celebrate? We do not think so.
The 6th Replenishment target calculation of US$14 billion was based on the assumption that there will be 48% increase in domestic resources available in Global Fund-eligible countries during the grant cycle. Beyond the seemingly hard-to-achieve amount of a $15 billion increase in domestic resource mobilisation, there are also questions on whether countries will invest their resources on the right health interventions that are supported by evidence?
The Global Fund is instrumental in funding services and programmes that are led by communities and key populations, including key populations who are living with HIV. However, many implementing country governments are still unwilling to fund programmes related to key populations. The Global Fund’s investments itself are not enough to sustain these critical life saving programmes and unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for sustainable resources available, except for both donors and implementing governments to step up and face their own political fear in investing for key population programmes and services. Stepping up the fight is not only about increasing resources available, but putting those resources into interventions that create sustainable impact: community-led interventions that promote and protect the rights to health and improve quality of life.
We also encourage the Global Fund to be more ambitious in investing in evidence-based interventions that can accelerate its progress to achieve its mission. Political trends such as Universal Health Coverage and ambition towards health for all should be considered as opportunities to improve the quality of response to the three diseases and to further scale up existing interventions.
“The $14 billion target was the minimum needed for the Global Fund to reach its own strategy goals, but not to reach the Global Plans for HIV, TB and Malaria. We know that we need closer to $18 billion for the HIV, TB and Malaria responses. Although what we have may not be enough, we need to use the funds committed today to put the Last Mile First and prioritise the most marginalised groups, including people living with HIV and key populations such as sex workers, people who use drugs, transgender people and men who have sex with men,” said Rico Gustav, Executive Director of GNP+.
This 6th Replenishment takes place during challenging times where geopolitical power struggle seems to be moving away from the spirit of multilateralism and as conservatism is dominating the political world stage, and polarising domestic politics both within donor and implementing countries. At the same time, the gap of living conditions in some parts of the world is widening due to slow progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that fully funding the Global Fund, a financing mechanism focusing on the three diseases that helps to redistribute resources among and within nations, will catalyse the progress needed to achieve health for all. By making sure that heavy disease burdens are properly addressed through adequate investment of resources, systems for health will have space and opportunities to truly improve quality of life for people living with HIV and key populations.
We will only celebrate once we have gone the distance needed for all people living with HIV and key populations to have good quality of life, starting with the last mile first.