Friends on the Frontline Fourth Quarter 2014

10 Years of Progress, 10 Years of Friends

A Message from Deb Derrick, President of Friends of the Global Fight

It’s been a busy and exciting final quarter of 2014. On Dec. 2, Friends held its 10th Anniversary Gala, honoring the many people who have contributed to tremendous progress against HIV/AIDS in the past decade. The event, co-hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), was a resounding success, with researchers and global health champions, Congressional leaders and private sector partners joining together to celebrate the gains made to date and to look ahead at what will be required to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

Friends Of The Global Fight Host 10th Anniversary Leadership Gala
(L-R): Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and the Honorable Michael Gerson, ONE Fellow and Washington Post Columnist, speak onstage at Friends’ 10th anniversary gala on Dec. 2, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Photo © Allison Shelley/Getty Images.

At the event, we were pleased to present AIDS leadership awards to Friends co-founders Ed Scott and Jack Valenti (posthumously) and to Secretary of State John Kerry. In addition, we were honored to be joined by many distinguished guests, including: actor, author and PSI ambassador Ashley Judd; MPAA Chairman and CEO, former Senator Chris Dodd; House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Lindsey Graham, and over a dozen of their current and former Congressional colleagues.

On the heels this event, Jen Kates and Josh Michaud of the Kaiser Family Foundation raised some thoughtful questions on the shape of U.S. global health policy in coming years, including whether or not support for it will remain bipartisan. I feel confident that strong bipartisan support will continue based on key Congressional comments at Friends’ 10th Anniversary event:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “The entire foreign assistance account, the 150 account, is 1 percent of the budget, and for 1 percent we are involved in the world in a positive way. I use the Global Fund and PEPFAR to explain to the American taxpayer that in a three trillion dollar budget, I cannot pick out a better example of what it means to be an American than this account.”

At the same dinner, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) noted, “We have been able to work across the aisle to ensure that our domestic and international efforts to control HIV and AIDS have the resources needed to serve the most vulnerable…Every piece of legislation working to end HIV and AIDS has been bipartisan and bicameral.”

As 2014 draws to a close, I would like to express how grateful I am for the many partners in government, non-profit organizations, foundations, and the private sector who have supported Friends’ and the Global Fund’s efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the past decade. I look forward to keeping the momentum going in 2015 as we work to defeat these epidemics once and for all. In the meantime, I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.

A View from the Hill 

This quarter, Capitol Hill has been dominated by midterm elections and a lame-duck legislative session. As a result of the midterms, Republicans won enough U.S. Senate races to take control of Congress’ upper chamber in the 114th Congress and also increased their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The most anticipated agenda item of the lame-duck legislative session has been the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 appropriations legislation. Throughout the quarter, Friends’ Policy team continued outreach to key Congressional staff to advocate for robust funding for all three diseases in FY 2015.

On Dec.13, a $1.1 trillion continuing resolution-omnibus (CR/omnibus) bill was passed by Congress. This funds the U.S. government operations through Sept. 30, 2015, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which would be funded only through February 2015. The CR/omnibus includes: $1.35 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; $4.32 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — a $300 million increase above FY 2014; and $669.5 million for malaria and $236 million for tuberculosis programs through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In December, Friends organized two visits to Washington, D.C. for Global Fund Executive Director, Dr. Mark Dybul, one earlier in the month and one later this week. During these visits, Dr. Dybul is speaking with key House and Senate members of the appropriations and foreign affairs committees. In addition to thanking these Members of Congress for their continued and active support of the Global Fund and PEPFAR, he is providing updates on efforts to increase domestic financing for health in implementing countries, procurement reforms and savings, and the latest on the Office of the Inspector General. He is also meeting with officials within the Obama Administration to discuss collaboration between the Global Fund and U.S. bilateral programs.

Update from the 32nd Global Fund Board Meeting

At the 32nd meeting of the Global Fund Board of Directors in mid-November, Dr. Dybul noted the importance of increasing domestic financing for health in implementing countries to ensure program sustainability and growth as implementing countries transition from Global Fund support. To date and through the concept note development process, implementing countries have committed $3.4 billion in domestic financing for 2015-2017, a more than 60 percent increase from the 2012-2014 grant period. The Global Fund anticipates a continued increase as additional concept notes are submitted and approved.

The Board adopted a provision to allow private donors to target financial support to the Global Fund for countries, regions or disease efforts that would otherwise remain unfunded. It is anticipated that this will open up the donor pool to a number of high net worth individuals from Global Fund implementing countries such as Indonesia, South Africa and Vietnam.

At the meeting, Dr. Dybul also highlighted the Global Fund’s Procurement 4 Impact (P4i) initiative to reduce costs through procurement reform and to support more efficient and effective supply chain management. The P4i initiative has resulted in $272 million in savings on the purchase of commodities over the past 12 months, an increase in pooled procurement from $300 million to $1.2 billion, and an improvement in monthly on-time delivery of commodities from 38 to 68 percent over the past six months. Following on an announcement earlier this year that new framework agreements with suppliers of artemisinin-based combination therapies will achieve projected savings of more than $100 million over two years, the Global Fund announced in December an approach to HIV drug procurement that is expected to save close to an additional $100 million over two years.

Highlights from the Fight

World AIDS Day and our Dec. 2 10th Anniversary and AIDS Leadership Event generated a number of pieces in the press:

  • Deb Derrick and actor, author and PSI ambassador Ashley Judd co-authored a piece in the Hill reflecting on lessons learned in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
  • On Dec. 2, Friends’ 10th Anniversary Gala and efforts to commemorate HIV/AIDS advocacy was covered by Roll Call.
  • A commemorative video, produced by Friends to honor HIV/AIDS advocates, was shared at the Dec. 2 event.
  • To commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Friends published a list of 10 key advocacy milestones in the fight against HIV/AIDS on BuzzFeed.

In addition:

  • On Dec. 8, Friends hosted a panel at the Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) 2014 Philanthropy Summit. Deb Derrick was joined in an engaging discussion on key affected populations by moderator Kali Lindsey, Deputy Director of Public Policy at amfAR, and by co-panelists Dr. Ani Shakarishvili, Senior Advisor at UNAIDS, and Dr. Chris Beyrer, President-Elect of the International AIDS Society and Professor of Epidemiology, International Health and Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • On Dec. 2, Deb Derrick wrote a blog piece ahead of the FCAA Philanthropy Summit on the importance of targeting adolescent girls in HIV/AIDS interventions.
  • On Nov. 11, Friends held a webinar featuring Patrik Silborn, Head of Private Sector Engagement for the Global Fund, on the Global Fund’s work on private sector partnerships.
  • Friends published a Q&A on Nov. 6, also with Patrik Silborn, who formerly served as the Global Fund’s Fund Portfolio Manager for Rwanda, about that country’s ongoing national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • On Oct. 30, Friends hosted a successful salon event in New York with more than 50 guests from partner organizations, the private sector and foundations, and featuring a discussion with Friends board members Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE, and Barbara P. Bush, co-founder and CEO of Global Health Corps. The panel, moderated by Friends’ President, Deb Derrick, included a discussion of careers in global health, efforts to improve the lives of women and girls, the impact of Ebola on in-country programs, and the increased involvement of the private sector in global health. To complement this discussion, Deb wrote a piece in the Huffington Post focused on women leaders in global health.
  • Also in October, Friends published a Q&A with Perry Mwangala, the Global Fund’s Fund Portfolio Manager for Zimbabwe on the country’s innovative, domestic financing efforts for HIV/AIDS.
  • On Oct. 7, Friends held a webinar with Dr. Viviana Mangiaterra, Senior Technical Coordinator for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Health Systems Strengthening for the Global Fund, who discussed the Global Fund’s commitment to women and children.
  • As the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target date approaches, Deb Derrick and Peter Yeo, the U.N. Foundation’s Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, outlined critical steps needed to achieve MDG 6 in a two-part series for the Health Affairs blog, the second of which was published on Oct. 6. (The first part, from August, is available here.)

This post was originally published in December 2014.