Despite Economic Downturn, Global Fund ‘Needs And Deserves’ International Support

In recognition of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s 10th anniversary, Sisonke Msimang, executive director of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, recounts the Fund’s history and development in this Project Syndicate opinion piece, stating that the organization is “driven by the idea that people need not die of preventable and treatable diseases simply because they are poor.” She continues, “And yet today, despite the Global Fund’s effectiveness and its strong anti-corruption track record, donors have cited ‘bad governance’ as an excuse for withholding further committed resources. Others have blamed the global financial crisis. The irony of this has not been lost on activists, who deal with the drivers of AIDS, TB, and malaria — corruption and poverty — on a daily basis.”

“In the long run, if donor countries insist on being penny wise and pound foolish, they run the risk of contributing to outbreaks of more virulent strains of HIV and TB than they ever imagined possible. And, like the economic contagion that has spread throughout Europe, these epidemics will have little respect for national borders,” she writes, concluding “we will all lose if the Global Fund does not receive the support that it needs — and deserves” (2/23).