On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis

David Taylor calls on the government to save the Global Fund, which funds the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide

 

Saturday was the tenth anniversary of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

There are some incredible results to celebrate: 7.7 million lives saved; 3.3 million people on AIDS treatment; more than one million pregnant women on treatment to protect their babies from HIV; more than 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis treated worldwide; and more than 230 million insecticide-treated bed nets delivered for the prevention of malaria.

British taxpayers can be proud of the contribution they have made to transforming so many lives. The last Labour government was a strong supporter, pledging over £1 billion towards the Fund. To their credit the current government has continued to support it.

Yet despite defying aid critics to become a shining example of what effective aid looks like, the Global Fund is in trouble. They are unable to fund new programs until 2014 due to a roughly $2 billion funding gap – new programmes that would save 10 million lives and prevent 140 to 180 million new infections between 2012 and 2016.

Bill Gates’ pledge of an additional $750 million to the Global Fund this week is very welcome but will not resolve the long term funding shortage: international donor countries must step up, and Britain must do all it can to pressure them to do so.

We have documented before how the Conservatives have failed to provide true leadership on the international stage on development. But with Britain now chair of the Fund board and the recent change of executive leadership, Mitchell and Cameron have a chance to prove themselves.

They must commit themselves to all the cajoling, arm-twisting and phone calls needed to get other donors to meet the shortfall.

On Friday, Labour’s shadow development secretary Ivan Lewis MP wrote (pdf) to Malcolm Bruce, chair of the House of Commons international development select committee, to urge him to consider holding an urgent inquiry to examine its current funding shortfall, including the effect spending freeze is having on DfID’s targets for tackling HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Development NGOs including ONE meanwhile are calling on the government to double the UK’s annual contribution to the Fund to £250 million for each of the next three years.

If Britain led by example in this way it could pay for over a million anti-malarial bednets and treat 400,000 malaria and TB patients, while closing the funding gap by a quarter and intensifying pressure on the US and Australia to step up their own commitments.

These cutbacks would leave millions unprotected from three of the world’s most significant killers.

As Ban Ki-moon said:

“If we lose the ground we have gained, we will be back to square one – all that effort and investment, lost.”

See also:

• Bill Gates: Innovation is the key to overcoming the need for aid – Mann Virdee, January 26th 2012

• Gates tells G20: Innovate, lead and donate to save the world Shamik Das, November 3rd 2011

• Cameron is abdicating his responsibility on international development – David Taylor, October 14th 2011

• New report justifies aid to India and other Middle Income Countries – Gareth Thomas MP, August 24th 2011

• How many more children could GAVI be saving? – Guppi Bola, June 14th 2011

12 Responses to “On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis”

  1. Richard Darlington

    On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis, writes @DavidTaylor85: //t.co/PCSKRLjk

  2. Alexander

    The greatest private fraud of human history.

    Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind? How does the economy “illness” threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?

    //eamb-ydrohoos.blogspot.com/2012/01/global-debt-crisis.html

    ———————————

    By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total …understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end …understand how this type of plans are established…

    by PANAGIOTIS TRAIANOU

  3. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis //t.co/rGQPkQP8

  4. LCID

    On its 10th anniversary, the Global Fund for Health is in crisis, writes @LabourCID's @DavidTaylor85 for @LeftFootFwd //t.co/uMNwZaNV

  5. David Taylor

    On its 10th anniversary, the Global Fund for Health (@globalfundnews) is in crisis – my latest piece for @leftfootfwd //t.co/qMsdS2wO

  6. Political Planet

    On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis: David Taylor calls on the government to save the Global … //t.co/yeHTPWZk

  7. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis //t.co/408xi6OU

  8. David Taylor

    On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis, writes @DavidTaylor85: //t.co/PCSKRLjk

  9. John Kitui

    RT @leftfootfwd: On its tenth anniversary, the #GlobalFund is in crisis //t.co/rq82OvYt are we headed to square one on #HIV/AIDs fight?

  10. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis //t.co/hqBRbaDd

  11. green heart

    #UK : On its tenth anniversary, the Global Fund is in crisis //t.co/408xi6OU

  12. Andy Wynne

    It is good that Britain is providing 0.7% of GDP in ‘aid’ and obviously the Global Fund is preventing some of the three killers of AIDS, malaria and TB, but they are doing this through the neoliberal route and so waste huge sums of money.
    Rather than just providing local governments with money the Global Fund has a huge bureaucracy in Geneva and provides funds by contracting with local NGOs and government agencies. So much money is wasted on contracting, supervision, inspection and audit.
    What is needed is cash for government provision and to reduce inequality – through progressive taxation.
    A Labour Government should NOT support the Global Fund, but should use the money for direct budget support of local governments and/or to the bank accounts of local health centres.

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