Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Fund Meets Replenishment Target, Raises $14.02B In Pledges From Governments, Businesses, Philanthropists

Devex: Global Fund claims last-minute victory on $14B replenishment target
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said it secured its $14 billion funding target at its replenishment conference Thursday, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the French government upping their earlier pledges to get donors over the line. ‘We have today secured pledges and commitments for $14.02 billion,’ Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands told journalists. It was a ‘pretty intense 24 hours’ to get there, he told Devex…” (Chadwick, 10/10).

The Telegraph: World leaders heed Macron’s call and pledge $14bn to fight killer diseases
“…[S]ome last-minute phone calls from [French President Emmanuel] Macron meant countries and private sector donors, who collectively donated more than £1bn, in fact exceeded the target slightly and pledged $14.02bn. This is a 15 percent increase on the Global Fund’s previous fundraising round in 2016 when it raised just over $12 billion and is the largest amount of money ever raised by a health organization…” (Gulland, 10/10).

U.N. News: Global community pledges $14 billion to step up fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
“…The Fund reported that many donors at the conference stepped up their pledges, citing the urgency to take decisive action. … France’s pledge of $1.29 billion included an extra $60 million announced by President Emmanuel Macron in a final push to meet the overall $14 billion target. Private donors also pledged more than $1 billion, which is a Global Fund first. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation led efforts with a pledge of $760 million, while (RED) pledged US$150 million, alongside supporters such as Comic Relief, prominent businessman Sri Dato Dr Tahir, and the global pharmaceutical company, Takeda…” (10/10).

Additional coverage of the replenishment conference is available from the AP, Economist, and France 24.

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Efforts To Control DRC Ebola Outbreak In Populated Towns Working, WHO Official Says

U.N. News: Ebola on the run in DR Congo, ‘now we have to kill the virus’: U.N. health agency
“Efforts to eradicate the deadly Ebola epidemic in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are proving successful but ‘now we have to kill the virus,’ the U.N. health agency said on Thursday. In an update to journalists in Geneva, the medic leading the World Health Organization’s campaign against the highly contagious virus said that while he could not say that it was beaten, it had been largely driven away from towns into rural areas. … He added that their inaccessibility — some communities can only be reached after a five-hour motorbike ride — and the fact that dozens of armed groups operate there, were the main complicating factors. … Communities were also showing increased trust in highly skilled and hardworking frontline health workers, the WHO medic insisted…” (10/10).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak is available from Al Jazeera, Reuters, and VOA.

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Ugandan Government To Introduce New Bill To Impose Death Penalty For Gay Sex

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Uganda plans bill imposing death penalty for gay sex
“Uganda announced plans on Thursday for a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, saying the legislation would curb a rise in unnatural sex in the east African nation. The bill — colloquially known as ‘Kill the Gays’ in Uganda — was nullified five years ago on a technicality and the government said it plans to resurrect it within weeks…” (Bhalla, 10/10).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: FACTBOX — Beyond Uganda and Brunei, eight countries rolling back LGBT+ rights
“Uganda on Thursday announced plans for a bill that would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, following plans announced by Brunei earlier this year to do the same. … In addition to Uganda and Brunei, here are eight countries that have recently moved to roll back LGBT+ rights…” (Peyton, 10/10).

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U.N. Agencies Express Concern Over Humanitarian Situation In Syria Following Start Of Turkish Offensive After U.S. Withdraws Troops From Region

The Guardian: Tens of thousands of civilians flee Turkish offensive in Syria
“Tens of thousands of civilians have fled from the fighting after Turkish troops began a military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the U.N. refugee agency has said. According to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 60,000 people have fled their homes since Wednesday…” (Beaumont/Chulov, 10/10).

NBC News: Humanitarian concerns grow as thousands flee Syria after Turkish offensive
“Tens of thousands of people are fleeing fighting in northeast Syria, according to the United Nations refugee agency, as world leaders warned that Turkey’s invasion could spark a new humanitarian crisis. ‘Hundreds of thousands of civilians in northern Syria are now in harm’s way. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must not be a target,’ U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement Thursday…” (Smith, 10/10).

U.N. News: Civilians ‘must not be a target’, urges UNHCR, following military escalation in northern Syria
“…UNHCR warns that the situation risks causing more suffering in addition to adding to what is already the largest displacement crisis in the world, with more than five million Syrians living as refugees while another six million are internally displaced. The head of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has also expressed concern over the latest developments in the war-torn country, stemming from Sunday’s decision by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to withdraw U.S. troops from the region…” (10/10).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: WHO anti-cholera vaccination campaign begins in Sudan (10/11).

Devex: Q&A: Plan International CEO on a pervasive obstacle to gender equality (Lieberman, 10/10).

The Guardian: ‘I’ve read how people get catfished’: sex education around the world (Griffin et al., 10/11).

The Telegraph: Hairy Heroes: Why you’ll never hate rats again (Kelly, 10/10).

Xinhua: U.N. agencies plea for humanitarian aid access in NE Syria (10/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece Calls for Global Fund To 'Broaden Mandate', Focus More On Health System Strengthening

Devex: Opinion: The Global Fund needs to broaden its mandate
Samy Ahmar, head of health programs at Save the Children U.K.

“Reducing the global burden of three of the top infectious killers … is arguably one of the greatest ever achievements of the international community. The Global Fund has been at the forefront of this battle and has contributed massively to this extraordinary endeavor. … The problem is this: such an enormous shift toward issue-based funding has almost certainly happened at the expense of strengthening health systems’ ability to provide comprehensive care, respond to disease outbreaks, and produce a large and competent health workforce for all. We can’t know what would have happened in the fund’s absence, but it is reasonable to assume that part of this huge pool of resources has displaced or crowded out other financing mechanisms for low-income countries’ health systems. To be clear, some of the fund’s resources were directed towards strengthening health systems more broadly. … A great many of us believe this effort now needs rebalancing, at a time of rapidly changing global health needs: the rise of noncommunicable diseases, the increasing frequency of major outbreaks, the risks of a global pandemic, climate change, antimicrobial resistance, and the resurgence of old and newer infectious diseases. None of these major challenges can be met without much stronger, better funded, and more resilient health systems for all. … The time has come to broaden [the Global Fund’s] scope and mandate beyond HIV, malaria, and TB and make health system strengthening not a means to an end, but the end that justifies all means” (10/10).

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Opinion Piece Discusses Economic Challenges Of Responding To DRC Ebola Outbreak

Devex: Opinion: It’s time to talk about the Ebola gold rush
Jonathan Shaw, founder and CEO of Kivu Green Energy, and Leslie Ruyle, assistant director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University

“…[W]hat fails to make headlines is that the international emergency response to Ebola brings with it a massive flood of capital to one of the world’s poorest countries. While the world wrings its hands over the disease, some in the region view Ebola’s arrival in Goma as a moment of divine favor. … While newspaper stories are focusing on how community skepticism, misinformation, and mistrust are hindering the response, the role of money and its unequal distribution may not only be hurting the efforts but may actually be creating perverse economic incentives that are exacerbating the outbreak. … A perverse incentive for disease spread emerges among powerful local business people who are instrumental in managing the response effort. … Who stands to benefit from the Ebola gold rush? Can we afford to be naive about the effects of such funding on affected communities, especially in war-ravaged and poverty-stricken zones? The direst unintended consequences of the international lack of concern around the ‘Ebola Economy’ could well be the exacerbation of the persistence and spread of the disease. Local dynamics, in all their complexity, matter. All the while, Ebola both takes lives and makes fortunes in eastern Congo” (10/10).

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U.K. To Put Women, Girls At Heart Of Foreign Aid, International Development Secretary Alok Sharma Writes In Opinion Piece

HuffPost: British Aid Is Transforming Girls’ Lives Across The World. But There’s More We Can Do
Alok Sharma, secretary of state for international development of the United Kingdom and Conservative MP for Reading West

“…[D]espite the progress we are making, millions of girls around the world are still being left behind. That is why today, on the International Day of the Girl, I am committing to put women and girls at the heart of U.K. aid. Every year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 are married, cutting short their education. Some 130 million girls worldwide are missing out on school. An estimated three million girls a year are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation. This unacceptable injustice continues into adult life. … The U.K. has been at the forefront of global efforts to promote accessible healthcare, available to all, and we have been very clear that this must include sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls. … It is only through empowering women and girls that we can break the cycle of poverty in the developing world” (10/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund Pledges Reach 'Unprecedented' US$14B; Organizations Release Statements Of Support

Global Fund: US$14 Billion to Step Up the Fight Against the Epidemics
“In an unprecedented show of global solidarity, donors at the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference pledged US$14.02 billion for the next three years — the largest amount ever raised for a multilateral health organization, and the largest amount by the Global Fund. The funds will help save 16 million lives and end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 2030…” (10/10).

ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership: World leaders deliver a successful replenishment of the Global Fund, stepping up to end AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria (10/10).

Friends of the Global Fight: With U.S. Leadership, Global Fund Raises $14 Billion, Largest Amount Ever Pledged to an International Health Organization (10/10).

Funders Concerned About AIDS: FCAA Congratulates Global Fund on Successful Replenishment Effort (10/10).

Malaria No More: Malaria No More Applauds the $14 Billion Pledged to the Global Fund to Save and Protect Millions of Lives from Malaria, AIDS and Tuberculosis (10/10).

UNAIDS: UNAIDS thanks all donors for pledging full funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (10/10).

World Health Organization: WHO welcomes vital new funding for the Global Fund (10/10).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has published Issue 365 of the ‘Global Fund Observer.’ The newsletter features pieces about the Global Fund’s sixth replenishment conference, as well as articles about the fund’s resumption of funding to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and other topics (10/11).

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CSIS Releases October 2019 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter
Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Update

In the October 2019 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (GHPC), highlights recent publications, events, and podcasts from CSIS, as well as upcoming events. These include an analysis of Russia’s role in global health efforts, a commentary on the Ebola outbreak in DRC, a brief on the U.S. government’s role in supporting immunization services worldwide, and a link to the video of a corresponding event (10/10).

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14 Aid Agencies Call For International Community To Resolve Conflict In North-East Syria, Allow For Unimpeded Humanitarian Access

Norwegian Refugee Council: 14 aid agencies warn of humanitarian crisis in north-east Syria
“Civilians in north-east Syria are at risk and humanitarian aid could be cut off following the launch of a new military operation in the area, leading aid agencies are warning. Reports from humanitarian responders on the ground say civilians are already on the move and that some vital services have been interrupted, including medical facilities and water supplies. … The 14 aid agencies are urging parties to the conflict to fully respect International Humanitarian Law and ensure that they refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas. They must ensure all measures are taken to protect civilians and facilitate safe, unhindered humanitarian access. … The international community has an important role to play in helping to resolve this crisis…” (10/10).

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U.N. Women, UNAIDS Recognize International Day Of The Girl Child

U.N. Women: International Day of the Girl Child
In this statement, U.N. Women recognizes the International Day of the Girl Child, held annually on October 11. “For this year’s International Day of the Girl, we’re coming together under the theme ‘GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable,’ to celebrate all of the achievements by, with, and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. But many of the commitments made to girls are left unfulfilled. Each year, 12 million girls under 18 are married; 130 million girls worldwide are still out of school; and approximately 15 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 have experience forced sex. The more than 1.1 billion girls in the world have had enough…” (10/11).

UNAIDS: UNAIDS urges all countries to seize the opportunity to unleash the power and potential of this generation of girls
“…A formidable and unprecedented new generation of young women are demanding action and accountability on the many issues affecting them, from climate change to girls’ education, gender equality, ending early, forced and child marriage, menstrual health, and eliminating gender-based violence. … The bold targets of the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS and the UNAIDS 2016-2021 Strategy uphold the empowerment of women and girls, rights and gender equality as imperatives to ending AIDS and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals…” (10/11).

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