Media Outlets Look Ahead To Next Week’s Global Fund Replenishment Meeting

Ahead of next week’s replenishment meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in New York, IRIN/PlusNews examines the challenges associated with trying to ramp up programs worldwide to meet global health targets. “After years of steady increases in funding for the HIV/AIDS response, the global economic downturn of the last two years has seen most donor countries cut or flat-line their contributions,” the news service writes.

As the Global Fund seeks “to raise between $13 and $20 billion to fund programs for the next three years … activists warn that even the minimal amount needed to fund existing programmes may be unattainable if the Global Fund remains largely dependent on contributions from recession-hit developed countries.”

The article examines several “innovative financing mechanisms” in use or under consideration as “alternative ways to bridge the funding gap,” such as the UNITAID air tax, the financial transaction tax, and the Debt2Health initiative (9/30).

VOA News examines some of the concerns expressed by global health advocates that donor country contributions to the Global Fund will fall short of the organization’s targets. “Few countries have officially announced their funding amounts prior to next week’s meeting,” the news service writes. The article includes comments by Vuyiseka Dubula, general secretary of South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign, who describes the potential trickle down effects of scaled back contributions to the Global Fund on the health programs worldwide.

“Many countries are now ‘pledge funding’ HIV programs, meaning that there will not be an increase from now up to 2015,” Dubula said. “And that has an impact on people who are supposed to be getting access to treatment” (DeCapua, 9/30).

VOA News in a separate article looking ahead to next week’s meeting, features comments by Jen Cohn, HIV policy adviser for Medecins Sans Frontieres. “We continue to be hopeful that the donor nations will realize the importance of this current round of grants and the future rounds of grants that the global fund will be giving in order to reach goals like universal access and use treatment as prevention,” Cohn said.

“I am very concerned that donations from wealthy countries to the Global Fund will not even reach a level of $13 billion that the Global Fund says it needs to basically just keep its doors open and continue existing grants, without significantly scaling up or being able to fund new, more ambitious grants,” Cohn said (DeCapua, 9/29).

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