Donors Should Support Global Fund To Balance Fighting Infectious Diseases, Strengthening Health Systems, Opinion Piece Says

BusinessDay: Donors must balance urgent health threats with sustainability of health systems
Adèle Sulcas, editor of the Global Fund Observer

“The world’s most powerful countries and most important providers of overseas development assistance, meeting this week, are likely to pledge, collectively, about $14bn for the next three-year funding period of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. … While most major donors have already announced their pledges, the U.S. and France — consistently the two biggest donors to the fund because its inception — are expected to make big-bang pledge announcements on the final day. … [W]hile remaining focused on AIDS, TB, and malaria, the fund is trying to ensure that its financing has an enduring effect on health system strengthening, which will further support a country’s overall efforts to provide better comprehensive care for its people. (The fund’s holistic approach more or less guarantees an element of this in any case — grants that are approved usually involve a comprehensive set of interventions, including training, hardware, and infrastructure if needed.) It is also placing increasing emphasis on ‘co-financing’ — where countries commit, at the time of grant signing, to contribute a certain percentage of the proposed budget themselves. So far, the five G7 countries that have already announced their pledges for this replenishment have increased their amounts by 15% or more relative to three years ago — clearly the fund has traction, and credibility. Hopefully the final numbers will reinforce donors’ commitment to millions more lives saved” (10/9).