END AIDS, TB and MALARIA
Fully-fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria: nothing less than progress to date is at stake, say voices from civil society
NEW YORK – As Heads of State, celebrities and CEO’s gathered in New York City for a dinner focused on “Every Women, Every Child” hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, more than 1700 advocates from all over the world issued an urgent plea to world leaders to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) so that it can put an end to the three killer diseases.
“Never before have we been in this position where we can turn the tide on these diseases. Scientific innovations and new modeling show that we can make such an historic achievement possible if sufficient resources are made available. But we have a long way to go. Today almost half of the people with HIV that need treatment still do not have access to it: we can and must do better.” said Shaun Mellors (South Africa), Global Fund Board member and Vice-Chair of its Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee.
Just as the world is poised to make significant progress towards ending AIDS, TB and malaria, the Global Fund faced uncertainty over commitments and for the first time in its history cancelled a round of funding (Round 11) in late 2011. Recently the Fund announced that it would be able to support some new programs in this 2012-2013 period with approximately 1.3 billion in new investments. In addition to ensuring urgent new investments in place of Round 11, global advocates are focusing on the replenishment next year. The Fund has announced that with a full replenishment for the years 2014-2016, it could more than double the number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment and TB treatment and massively scale-up the distribution of malaria nets: but this will require significant investments.
“It is welcome news that the Fund will be able to invest 1.3 billion dollars in this interim period. Too many countries are waiting to scale up successful Global Fund supported initiatives; this money can make a big difference now!”said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (UK) who added that “We must alsonow turn towards next year’s replenishment to ensure that we raise the estimated 20 billion dollars that is needed to meet the Fund’s bold targets.The progress we have made against these 3 diseases is at risk.”
The “Here I Am” campaign (an initiative of the Global Fund Advocates’ Network) announced that on every working day over the next 12 months, it will publish a video story from the grass roots fight against the 3 diseases. People directly infected or affected will testify to the impact of Global Fund investments in their lives, their families and their communities. Featured on the Huffington Post and campaign website(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lucy-chesire), the video stories will be part of an advocacy dialogue with policy and decision maker in donor countries, in order to encourage donors to step up to the plate and seize this historic opportunity in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.
Commenting on the campaign to fully fund the Global Fund, Lucy Chesire, Executive Director of Kenyan based TB ACTION Group and host of the Here I Am campaign Huffington Post blog: “Advocates are urging donors to increase their contributions now to enable the Global Fund to implement its’ ambitious targets.While full-funding is estimated to cost up to 20 billion dollars, we have to invest to make the possibilities of recent innovations reality and turn the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria into the end of AIDS, TB and malaria. It is possible, but we have to invest now.”