Friends on the Frontline Fourth Quarter 2015

Laying the Groundwork for Next Steps in the Global Fight

A Message from Deb Derrick, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

With 2015 behind us, Friends of the Global Fight is busy laying the groundwork for an important year ahead. With the Global Fund’s Fifth Voluntary Replenishment Conference on the horizon in mid-2016, plans are in high gear across the globe to mobilize steady, robust funding for 2017-2019 – a critical next step in the fight to defeat the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

December has been an exciting time, with the Preparatory Meeting of the Global Fund Fifth Replenishment taking place Dec. 17 in Tokyo, hosted by the Government of Japan in conjunction with an international conference on universal health coverage. The meeting included presentations by global health leaders such as Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, as well as health and development ministers from numerous countries around the world. The Global Fund presented an investment case for raising $13 billion for the next three-year cycle of funding. The Global Fund announced that a $13 billion investment for the 2017-2019 funding cycle would save up to 8 million lives, avert up to 300 million infections and new cases of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and lay the groundwork for potential economic gains of up to $290 billion in the years ahead.

Private sector organizations and charities announced a record-breaking pledge of $37 million for the Global Fund at the preparatory meeting. (RED), the initiative launched by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 to fight AIDS in Africa through the Global Fund, announced a contribution of $15 million to the Global Fund for 2016. This brings their total 2014-2016 pledge to $100 million, the largest pledge made by a private sector donor. The charity Comic Relief announced a three-year partnership, which is expected to raise $12 million for the Global Fund through its annual Red Nose Day and Sport Relief events in the United Kingdom and Red Nose Day America event in the United States. Finally, the United Kingdom’s Children’s Investment Fund Foundation will invest $10 million to support the Global Fund’s work in Africa, specifically in countries with high burdens of pediatric HIV, low access to pediatric treatment, and the greatest disparity in treatment coverage for children compared to adults living with HIV.

As we embark on a replenishment year in 2016, Friends is looking forward to a dynamic series of events and activities to bolster support of the Global Fund, and to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. At the December Tokyo meetings, Bill Gates said that, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s investments, the Global Fund has been “one of the most effective in improving the lives of the world’s poorest.” We look forward to steady work in 2016 to support that legacy, and continued efforts toward the defeat of these deadly epidemics.

News from Capitol Hill

Friends is encouraged by and extraordinarily appreciative of the inclusion of $1.35 billion for the Global Fund in the recently released omnibus spending bill to fund the government through the remainder of FY 2016, which was cleared by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 18. We are also pleased to see total global health funding at $8.5 billion, with $4.32 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), $674 million for the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and $236 for USAID-funded tuberculosis programs. Friends applauds the House and Senate’s consistent and bipartisan support for global health programs that are saving lives around the world.

The Global Fund’s 34th Board Meeting

On Nov. 16-17, the Global Fund hosted its 34th Board Meeting, at which Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybul highlighted the Fund’s remarkable impact over the past decade and the challenges and opportunities moving forward, with emphasis on the HIV/AIDS burden facing adolescent girls and young women. Dr. Dybul applauded the Global Fund’s achievement, along with global partners, in saving more than 17 million lives from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as of the end of 2014. He also noted, however, that ending these epidemics by 2030 poses a greater challenge, and will require dealing with deep-seated socio-cultural issues.

The Board meeting included the approval of a new Global Fund Strategic Framework for 2017-2021, “Investing to End Epidemics,” which includes the following four objectives: i) Differentiate for Impact across the Development Continuum; ii) Build Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health; iii) Respect and Promote Human Rights and Gender Equality; and iv) Expand Access and Public Goods for Health. The complete strategy will be further developed and presented to the Board for approval at the 35th Board Meeting in April 2016. The meeting also focused on collaborations with several partners, including Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance and a new Global Fund report on efforts to target programming for women and girls.

Friends’ full summary of the Global Fund’s 34th Board Meeting can be found here.

Highlights from the Fight

  • In December, Friends collaborated on an opinion piece for Health Affairs, authored by Dr. Eric Goosby, UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. The article, “Eyes on the Final Prize: Integrating Services to Transform Global Health,” focused on the importance of health system strengthening efforts and working across disease-targeted programs in the future achievement of universal health care.
  • On Dec. 11, following the release of WHO’s 2015 World Malaria Report, Deb penned an opinion piece for Devex, sharing successes in the fight against malaria and highlighting the importance of sustained Global Fund financing ahead of the Fifth Replenishment in 2016. Friends also published an accompanying malaria infographic.
  • On Dec. 7, Deb participated on a keynote panel at the Funders Concerned About AIDS’ 2015 AIDS Philanthropy Summit. She joined Dr. Jerome Adams, State Health Commissioner of Indiana, and Paul Di Donato, Director of the Civil Marriage Collaborative, in discussing the unique challenges and opportunities that domestic and global politics bring to funding the HIV/AIDS fight.
  • In anticipation of Dec. 1’s World AIDS Day, Friends Policy Manager True Claycombe wrote a piece for Funders Concerned About AIDS, highlighting successes in the HIV/AIDS fight resulting from the Millennium Development Goals, and looking at the role of the Sustainable Development Goals in continuing that success.
  • In November, Friends began publishing an ongoing series of Policy Briefs, providing introductory information on a variety of Global Fund topics. To date, the series has highlighted the Global Fund’s bilateral relationships with the U.S. government, and explained the Global Fund replenishment process.
  • Also in November, Friends participated in a Capitol Hill briefing, “Defeating Malaria in the Americas,” co-hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Nothing But Nets, the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, the George Washington School of Public Health, and PAHO. Deb served as moderator for the event, which focused on acknowledging progress in the fight against malaria, how work in the Americas is progressing, where we are on the road to elimination, and how we can effect further change.
  • In October, Friends published a new Q&A with Tommy Thompson, who has previously served as the Governor of Wisconsin, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Chairman of the Board of the Global Fund. In this interview, he discussed the importance of continued U.S. support for global health efforts and the Global Fund.
  • In October, Friends welcomed Dr. Susie Nasr, Disease Advisor for Malaria at the Global Fund, for a webinar to discuss malaria and the Global Fund’s role during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The webinar, titled “Malaria in the Time of Ebola: How the Global Fund Alleviated Stress on West African Health Systems in Crisis,” highlighted the specific steps taken by the Global Fund to combat both diseases in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Friends later summarized Dr. Nasr’s discussion for Science Speaks.
  • Also in October, Friends published a Storify multimedia piece, “What Everyone Should Know about the Global Fund’s 2015 Results Report” infographic.
  • Friends published an infographic illustrating results from the WHO World TB Report, including versions for social media.