Friends Organizations Applaud the Successful Fourth Voluntary Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Despite Challenging Economic Climate, Donor Pledges Increased by 30%
Washington, D.C., December 3, 2013 — Today, international donors committed US$ 12 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its Fourth Voluntary Replenishment meeting. This amount, which will provide funding for 2014 through 2016, represents a 30% increase over hard commitments made at the previous replenishment conference in 2010. As global advocates for the organization, Friends of the Fund Africa, Europe and Japan; Pacific Friends of the Global Fund; and Friends of the Global Fight in the United States want to applaud this significant milestone.
“This is an enormous success by any measure,” said Laurent Vigier, President of Friends of the Global Fund Europe. “But particularly in a time of constrained economies, the collaboration and generosity demonstrated by donor countries is a recognition of the tremendous work of the Global Fund and its ability to help turn the tide against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”
Every three years, countries from around the world gather to make financial pledges to continue the fight against the three diseases. This year’s meeting not only brought donor governments to the table, but also demonstrated the shared support and accountability of the broader international community.
“This mobilization of resources is truly a collective effort,” said Deb Derrick, President of U.S.-based Friends of the Global Fight. “In addition to the generosity of traditional donor governments, significant efforts by civil society organizations, communities, emerging economies, the private sector and implementing countries themselves all contributed to these results.”
“The Global Fund was designed to pursue its mission through a partnership model, and its gradual success at turning the tide for the three diseases is supported by a galvanized effort of all the above mentioned stakeholders. The role of public health advocates in achieving the objectives of the Global Fund cannot be over emphasized and we, the Friends organizations around the world, are proud to play a part in today’s collective success” continued Dr Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba CEO and Founder of Friends Africa.
The need for continued focus on global health is critical. Recent scientific developments, combined with improved epidemiology and a decade of implementation experience, present a unique opportunity to contain and ultimately defeat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Investments in the three diseases also serve as a platform for addressing the broader health of individuals.
“The Global Fund delivers the majority of international funding for tuberculosis and provides more than 50 percent of international funding for malaria and more than 20 percent for global AIDS relief,” said Wendy McCarthy, Chair of Pacific Friend of the Global Fund. “It is the best instrument we have to defeat these three deadly epidemics. Today’s announcement helps ensure that the work of the organization—helping to save more than 100,000 lives a month—will continue in the years to come.”
But today’s efforts are not the end rather they mark a beginning to a rolling, three-year resource mobilization effort.
“Over the next three years, the Friends organizations and the broader advocacy community will work together with the Global Fund to ensure the necessary resources are in place and used effectively,” said Ken Shibusawa, Director of Friends of the Global Fund Japan. “Together, we can work toward defeating these three diseases.”
The Global Fund’s Fourth Replenishment is being launched at a gathering in Washington D.C. on 2-3 December, hosted by the U.S. government. The Replenishment will allow sustained funding over the 2104-2016 period, so that the Global Fund can plan ahead and effectively support programs that prevent, care for and treat people affected by HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
President Barack Obama will open the launch in a meeting at the White House, and his personal participation will highlight the United States commitment to global health and to the fight against three of the deadliest diseases in history. “We are tremendously grateful to the President for his leadership on this issue,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. Dybul expressed strong confidence that this year’s launch, with contributions from all over the world, will increase significantly over the US$9.2 billion that was pledged in October 2010, at the start in the previous three-year cycle.
This year’s Replenishment adopted a new and distinctive approach, identifying and relying on four pillars of support: Traditional donors, implementing partners, emerging economies, and the private sector. Thirteen presidents of African countries have acted as champions of the Replenishment over the past year. The money pledged for Replenishment meeting will support programs in countries that can save the lives of millions of people.
The Replenishment comes just a week after the Global Fund announced new results, showing increased momentum in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria. The results show that 6 million people are on antiretroviral therapy under programs supported by the Global Fund. There are 360 million insecticide-treated nets distributed by programs supported by the Global Fund, and 11 million new TB cases detected and treated. Commenting on the results, Dybul said: “If we can harness the funds needed, and reach the most vulnerable, we can be the generation that defeats AIDS TB and Malaria.”
GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced today that as part of its broad program to prevent abuse of any kind, it suspended contracts with two international suppliers of mosquito nets after uncovering evidence that they committed serious financial wrongdoing in Cambodia.
The Global Fund has zero tolerance for wrongful conduct. It actively investigates and uncovers fraud, takes swift action against wrongdoers, and pursues recovery of misused funds. Committed to an exceptional degree of transparency, the Global Fund openly publishes its investigation reports.
The Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General today published an investigation report that found that between 2006 and 2011, two international suppliers paid commissions to two Cambodian officials totaling approximately US$410,000 in return for awarding contracts for insecticide-treated nets that prevent the spread of malaria. Based on recommendations of its Sanctions Panel, the Global Fund has suspended contracts with the two suppliers, Vestergaard Frandsen and Sumitomo Chemical Singapore, pending a full review.
Vestergaard and Sumitomo both fully cooperated with the investigation, have taken action against the employees involved, and have taken preventative steps to deter wrongful conduct in the future, agreeing that stronger measures will better serve the common goal of preventing the spread of malaria, particularly in high-risk countries.
“We cannot tolerate unethical conduct anywhere,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Although this case had no direct impact on Cambodia’s fight against malaria, taking commissions in exchange for contracts violates our mission of public service. We remain fully committed to pursuing fraud and taking action when we find it.”
The Global Fund has supported programs in Cambodia fighting AIDS, TB and malaria with US$331 million disbursed since 2003, achieving striking success and playing a key role in Cambodia’s achievement of an 80 percent decline in malaria deaths, a 45 percent fall in TB cases and a 50 percent decline in cases of HIV.
Over the past two years, the Global Fund has taken multiple actions to protect its investments by significantly strengthening deterrence and minimizing the risk of abuse.
Strong financial oversight, paired with heightened risk mitigation, is now built into the implementation process for each grant, no matter how big or small, and a governance and execution mechanism has been established to recover misused funds.
A new framework for procurement was established, with a comprehensive approach to ensure all bulk purchasing is consistently undertaken in a fair, transparent, lawful and ethical manner. Over the past year, the Global Fund has tripled the value of products covered by safer pooled procurement practices. In 55 countries identified as high-risk for procurement, 83 percent of products are now in pooled procurement, just above the benchmark 80 percent used in the private sector.
The investigation found that, while a Global Fund grant in Cambodia was compromised by the commission payments, all the mosquito nets procured by that grant were provided as intended.
The investigation report identified wrongful conduct in three entities in Cambodia disbursing funds from the Global Fund. In addition to the two Cambodian officials who accepted financial inducements from suppliers of nets, the report also cites improper charges and manipulation of procurement practices at two other organizations. The wrongful conduct identified in the report involves a total of approximately US$431,000.
The Global Fund Sanctions Panel, with both internal and independent experts, evaluates cases where sanctions may be warranted. The Sanctions Panel recommended that the two suppliers named in the Cambodia report be suspended pending a full review of the case.
Other steps were taken in Cambodia. The Principal Recipient for a malaria grant was replaced, after the evidence identified two officials of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) who accepted commissions in exchange for awarding contracts. Fiduciary and procurement agents were appointed to work within another implementer, the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD Control (NCHADS) and fiduciary controls are being strengthened at key higher-risk sub-recipients.
The Global Fund’s investigation began in 2011, and the report took two and a half years to complete. It involved analysis of a wide scope of data and a complex investigation of multiple entities. In addition, to be fair and to follow due process, those affected by the report and their legal counsel were provided with multiple opportunities to assess the findings and to respond appropriately, at various stages of the investigation.
The Global Fund’s systematic work on risk management and controls, and its effective use of audits and investigations, reflect a strong commitment to preventive measures and are expected to lead to fewer cases of wrongdoing in the future.
BANGKOK – The 11th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP11) today conducted the first of three plenary discussions focussing on the first of the UNAIDS Getting to Zero goals. The theme for today was ‘Getting to Zero New HIV Infections in Asia and Pacific: Possible or Impossible Dream?’
The discussion was moderated by James Chau, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and CCTV Anchor in China, and keynote speeches were delivered by Timothy Mastro, Group Director for Global Health, Population and Nutrition of FHI 360 and Steve Kraus, Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific. Commentators were Professor Tjandra Yoga Aditama, Director General of the Ministry of Health in Indonesia representing Dr Nafsiah Mboi, Health Minister and Chair of the Global Fund, Anan Boupha from Purple Sky Network Foundation, Baby Rivona from the Indonesian Positive Women Network, and Aradhana Johri from the National AIDS Control Organisation in India.
Mr Kraus stated that as at 2012 there were 4.9 million people living with HIV in the Asia-Pacific region, of which 1.7 million (34%) were female. There were 350,000 new infections in the area and 270,000 AIDS related deaths in 2012. Between 2001 and 2008 there had been a 26% decline in the annual HIV infection rate, but since 2008 there had been no further progress in the fight against the disease. Progress was unevenly distributed across the region. Countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, India and Thailand experienced large falls in HIV infections. However, the infection rate is rising in other countries including Indonesia, Pakistan, The Philippines and Malaysia.
While Mr Kraus showed that progress has recently stagnated, Mr Mastro was more optimistic. “We have the tools, we just need to learn how to use them,” he said. Mr Mastro was confident that achieving zero new HIV infections is possible, but would require more work. In summarising the challenges faced by the region, he said “we know a lot, but we do not do a lot.”
The commentators each had varying opinions on whether or not a zero new infection rate is possible. Aradhana Johri was optimistic, but cautioned that the implementation of HIV policies must account for the specific features of the epidemic in each country. She said, “What works in one country may not work in toto in another.”
Anan Boupha emphasised the need for partnership between key at-risk populations and policy makers in order to ensure that the policies were realistic and would make a difference. Baby Rivona stated that without specific policies on women affected by the epidemic, the goal would remain a dream and she would have to “keep dreaming”. She called specifically for the collection of epidemiological data on women within each key at-risk population group and policies to tackle issues such as violence against women.
Professor Aditama stated his view that progress was being made and this goal was certainly achievable. He described recent progress in Indonesia, including the implementation of treatment as prevention, a policy for HIV prevention that is backed by strong evidence. In particular, sero-discordant couples would now be eligible for anti-retroviral therapy (ARV) regardless of their CD4 levels. Coverage of testing has also been expanded in Indonesia, with particular focus on men who have sex with men (MSM).
The session was generally optimistic, but there was clear consensus that if the goal of zero new infections is to be achieved, it will require a redoubling of efforts throughout the region and massive scale-up of evidence-based approaches to prevention. HIV is too serious a problem to go out of fashion, and with the pending expiry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) it is imperative that HIV is not lost amongst competing health priorities and strained national budgets. Zero new HIV infections may have been a dream yesterday but it is a hope today, and it will hopefully be a reality tomorrow.
Global Health News
Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.