Apr 10th, 2013 6:30 PM UTC
By Erin Hohlfelder
15 Instagram buy-outs; 384 Lionel Messis; 1 London Olympics; or 30 million iPads. These are just a few of the things you could have purchased if you had a spare $15 billion burning a hole in your pocket recently (and really, don’t we all?). But yesterday, the Global Fund added a big item to that list that’s much more compelling: the chance to help save lives and control AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in hundreds of countries around the world.
As donors meet today and tomorrow in Brussels, the Global Fund unveiled $15 billion as its “replenishment ask”—the amount it hopes to raise from interested stakeholders over the next three years to support its work. If you have followed this issue with us for a while, you will know that this is a process the Global Fund goes through every three years. In the last replenishment for 2011-2013, they succeeded in getting commitments totaling just under $12 billion, so this year’s replenishment will represent a big step up.
In a time of economic restraint in most donor countries around the world, coming up with $15 billion will require more than just digging under the couch cushions. It will require donors like the US to fight back against potential budget cuts, and maintain a leadership role in funding; President Obama’s 2014 budget out today, which includes a $1.65 billion request for the Global Fund, is a first key step.
It will require Europeans to step up their commitments, just as we asked of them in our World AIDS Day 2012 report. It will require new donors, both from Europe and from emerging economies, to invest for the first time. It will require African nations, whose citizens are some of the most heavily impacted by these diseases and whose economies are in some cases growing the fastest, to recommit to spending 15% of their national budgets on health.
It will require new partnerships with the private, faith, and NGO sectors. And it will absolutely require ONE members from around the world to use their voices, put pressure on each of these groups, and let them know that they will be celebrated and supported for doing the right thing.
The work will be hard. But if we can to find a way to get the Global Fund the $15 billion it needs, and if we can convince other actors to continue scaling up their other health investments, too, we can achieve some pretty historic things. In fact, the Global Fund estimates that if collectively we could help fill the majority of a global $87 million funding gap for the three diseases, the world could look quite different by 2016:
That’s a world so beautiful it would be worth Instagramming 15 times over.
Mar 24th, 2013 8:00 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Sunday 24 March is World TB Day. Katri Kemppainen-Bertram discusses the co-epidemic of TB and HIV and how combatting them together could be the solution.
What do you see when you visualise an organization called The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria? Possibly sex (as HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex), possibly drugs (anti-malaria pills during travels where there are malaria mosquitos), but I would guess no rock ‘n’ roll.
Tuberculosis (TB) kills 3 people every minute – 1.4 million people each year. It is an infectious, airborne disease that infects the throat and lungs.Without the correct medicines, it is fatal. TB strikes those who are most vulnerable: the poorest. It also strikes those who are already weak: in particular, people who are HIV-positive.
The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a World TB Report each year. The latest report shows that there were 1.1 million HIV-positive new TB cases in 2011 (and 8.7 million TB cases overall). Nearly 80 percent of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. The report warns that Africa is facing a TB, HIV, and TB/HIV co-epidemic emergency that is affecting its fight against poverty and impeding the continent’s economic development.
Women waiting for their children’s TB immunisations. Photo credit: one.org
There are fortunately many dedicated organisations and very passionate people working towards eradicating TB. As with HIV/AIDS and malaria, recent scientific developments make the eradication of tuberculosis appear closer than ever before. Combined treatment of TB and AIDS is possible. Globally, new cases of TB fell at a rate of 2.2 percent between 2010 and 2011. The world is on track to achieve the global Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of achieving a 50 percent reduction by 2015. Since 2002, the Global Fund, which channels more than 80 percent of international financing for TB, has enabled the treatment of 9.7 million people for TB.
The problem is that global successes hide regional discrepancies. Africa is far off track with the MDG targets, and multi-drug-resistant strands (MDR-TB) are on the rise. There is a $3 billion funding gap per year for TB, which hits the poorest 35 countries (25 of which are in Africa) hardest.
Whereas HIV/AIDS and malaria can be deadly also to those of us who live in developed countries, TB most often isn’t if it is discovered in time. TB does not have to kill, and with organizations such as the Global Fund, millions of lives can be saved.
The Global Fund depends on donor financing, and needs to be stocked up every few years. The next replenishment round will be at the end of 2013, and with the financial crisis, many governments are considering cuts. Cuts to the Global Fund mean cuts to programs and medicines for the poorest of the poor. Rock ‘n’ roll or not, it’s time to make your voice heard.
Feb 28th, 2013 5:44 PM UTC
By Helen Hector
If you are in the UK, make sure you catch Richard Curtis’s new film Mary & Martha tonight at 8.30pm on BBC1.
Starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn, it’s a moving story of two women who lose their sons to malaria in Africa, and dedicate their lives to campaigning against the disease. Here’s a trailer:
Malaria is preventable and treatable, but a child in sub-Saharan Africa still dies from a mosquito bite every minute.
So what can we do to turn this around? Just as Mary & Martha discover, simple solutions like getting bed nets and malaria treatments within easy reach of people across Africa costs money that a lot of poor countries simply don’t have. It’s not just the supplies themselves, it’s the infrastructure of health centres and trained health workers needed to support that.
The Global Fund is the most powerful weapon in the fight against malaria. 8.7 million lives have been saved in the last ten years thanks to projects that it supports.
Joy, who is 3 and lives in Kenya, is one of the lucky ones. She developed a severe case of malaria and needed urgent hospital treatment, but was able to get the life saving treatment she needed. Read her story, as told by her father Winston here.
2013 is a crucial year for the Global Fund, with donor countries pledging how much money they will give to the fund for the next three years. We are making real progress, but if governments don’t keep the money coming in, they will be putting millions more lives at risk.
ONE is campaigning to make sure the Global Fund is able to keep on fighting malaria, and making sure more children like Joy make a full recovery.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
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