Browsing articles in "Announcement"
12 April 2016
Shawn Clackett

New Zealand Announces Early Contribution to the Global Fund

Ag-NZ-High-Commissioner-HE-Mr-Vangelis-Vitalis1

New Zealand Ambassador to the European Union Vangelis Vitalis

GENEVA – New Zealand has announced that it will make an early contribution to the Global Fund, one of the first countries to pledge in support of the Global Fund’s replenishment for the three-year period beginning in 2017.

Ambassador Vangelis Vitalis announced the contribution during a meeting at the Global Fund offices in Geneva. “Lifting the burden of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria helps build prosperity and security, both in the Pacific and around the world. New Zealand is pleased to play its part in the Global Fund partnership,” Dr. Vitalis said.

Marijke Wijnroks, Chief of Staff of the Global Fund, signed the agreement with Dr. Vitalis on 8 April. “We are very pleased that New Zealand is in the Global Fund partnership in this important year.”

New Zealand’s contribution is worth NZ$1 million. The announcement followed news in March 2016 that the European Union pledged a significant increase in its contribution to the Global Fund for the next three years.

The Global Fund is partnering with governments, medical experts, advocates, civil society and people living with HIV, TB and malaria to fight the three diseases in the Indo-Pacific region.

Through programs supported by the Global Fund, 17 million lives have been saved and we are on track to reach 22 million by the end of 2016. In the Indo-Pacific region alone, Global Fund supported programs have saved 8.3 million lives to date.

This year, a strong Replenishment for the Global Fund is aiming for a US$13 billion investment for the 2017-2019 funding cycle. That would save up to eight million lives, avert up to 300 million infections and new cases of HIV, TB and malaria, and lay the groundwork for potential economic gains of up to US$290 billion in the years ahead.

12 April 2016
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Names Rahul Singhal as Chief Risk Officer

GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has named Rahul Singhal, a senior global risk management and treasury executive, as its new Chief Risk Officer.

Mr. Singhal has 28 years of experience in risk management in the financial services industry, building and leading risk management teams, and executing complex global initiatives including acquisitions and strategic investments. Mr. Singhal joined the Global Fund in October 2015 as Deputy Chief Risk Officer, and has been Acting Chief Risk Officer since January 2016.

“Rahul brings unparalleled experience and perspective on risk,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “His tremendous expertise and knowledge will guide us through the increasingly complex challenges we face, and it’s great that he can serve in this role.”

The Chief Risk Officer position was created in 2012 to strengthen risk management at the Global Fund. The Chief Risk Officer is responsible for supervising overall risk management, and serves on the Management Executive Committee.

At Bank of America, Mr. Singhal served in numerous positions overseeing credit and market risk, counterparty risk and operational risk over a period that included two severe financial crises – in 1997 in Asia and in 2008 globally. Originally from India, he holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

 

7 April 2016
Shawn Clackett

A New Era for Roll Back Malaria: Announcement of the New Board

The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership has named a new board to lead the global organization into a new era and drive momentum to end malaria for good.

The intensified, collaborative effort by RBM partners to support affected countries to end malaria is saving millions of lives, increasing attendance at school, improving worker productivity and boosting local economies. But malaria remains a serious public health threat. Eliminating malaria is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and must remain a key priority for the global development community.

In the middle of December 2013, the RBM Board commissioned an external evaluation to ensure the Partnership was well positioned to drive continued momentum towards a malaria-free world This evaluation concluded that significant adjustments to RBM’s structure would be necessary to sustain its successes and build on them to deliver on the ambitious goals and objectives of the 2030 WHO Global Technical Strategy (GTS) and accompanying RBM Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM).

After a period of extensive consultation, the RBM Board agreed at its 29th Meeting in December 2015 on a new governance architecture. This included the establishment of a reconstituted Partnership Board, which could take advantage of the tremendous skill, energy and effectiveness of its partners and lead the organization into a new era with a focus on ending malaria. As a result, a transparent public nomination process was announced in January 2016 to identify outstanding new Board members.

The response to the call for nominations was overwhelming: more than 100 nominations were received from the wide malaria and related multi-sectoral community, including government, civil society, non-government organisations, the private sector, donor funding organisations (governmental, multilateral or private philanthropic), and research and academia.

After a robust assessment and selection process 13 individuals have been chosen to take the revitalised Partnership forward, along with an additional Board member to be named by the WHO:

  • Mr Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Mr Simon Bland, Director – New York Office, UNAIDS
  • Prof Awa Coll-Seck, Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Senegal
  • Mr Kieran Daly, Deputy Director: Global Policy & Advocacy – Malaria, HIV, TB and the Global Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mr Paolo Gomes, Chairman, Paulo Gomes and Partners, former Executive Director, World Bank
  • Dr Richard Nchabi Kamwi, Elimination 8 Ambassador, former Minister of Health, Namibia
  • Dr Altaf Lal, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Innovation, Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries
  • Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, former Assistant Director General – Malaria, HIV, TB, NTDs, WHO
  • Mr Ray Nishimoto, President of Health & Crop Sciences Sector, Sumitomo Chemical
  • Dr David Reddy, Chief Executive, Medicines for Malaria Venture
  • Mr Gu Xueming, President of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation
  • HE Yongyuth Yuthavong, Deputy Prime Minister, Thailand
  • Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer USN (ret), Global Co-ordinator, US President’s Malaria Initiative

This new Partnership Board includes individuals with deep expertise and experience at a senior decision-making level as well as representation from across the Partnership, including malaria-affected countries, private sector, civil society, donor funding organisations, and entities outside the malaria and health sectors, civil society and donors.

In confirming the result of the vote the current Board Chair the Honorable Victor Makwenge Kaput stated that he believed that the individuals selected:
Represented an impressive group of distinctly qualified individuals who will be well-positioned to take the RBM Partnership to a new level in its evolution.

The new Board are expected to assume responsibility for leading the Partnership from April 2016 and RBM are confident that the changes to the architecture of the Partnership will result in a strengthened malaria partnership well-positioned to support the delivery of the ambitious goal of Ending Malaria for Good.

25 February 2016
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Congratulates India on Launch of Malaria Elimination Framework

NEW DELHI – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria praised India’s leadership and vision for launching an ambitious national framework to eliminate malaria by 2030, and called the country’s significant progress against the disease an example in global health

With the support of many partners, India has seen a dramatic decline in malaria rates and malaria deaths. Through combined interventions that include rapid diagnostic tests, artemisinin-based combination therapy, long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying, India is projected to achieve a fall in case incidence of 50-75 percent between 2000 and 2015

“India is showing others that with commitment, partnership and innovative strategies we can eliminate malaria,” Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said during the presentation of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016-2030 and the Operational Guidelines for Malaria Elimination in India. “This framework is a hugely important step that gets us closer towards that goal.

J.P. Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, stressed his country’s engagement to eliminate the disease.

“I can only assure you that the Government of India fully stands committed to the malaria elimination program, with the support of all stakeholders,” said Nadda.

During a two-day meeting that brought together the Government of India, WHO, academics and the Indian and global public health sector, partners discussed strategies and implementation of the framework, innovation and research, health system strengthening, and shared experiences for malaria elimination.

Under the framework, India aims to eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) throughout the entire country by 2030, and maintain malaria-free status in areas where malaria transmission has been interrupted and prevent re-introduction of malaria. Elimination will be undertaken in a phased manner, with states with low incidence rates first, followed by the high-incidence ones.

The framework is in line with the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Alliance Malaria Elimination Roadmap for 2030.

India’s commitment to regional malaria elimination is timely. Emerging drug resistance in the Greater Mekong region is threatening the progress made toward elimination. Resistance to artemisinin – the most commonly used drug worldwide against malaria – has been detected in Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia.

22 February 2016
Shawn Clackett

DFAT: Mr Peter Varghese at the 2016 Australasian Aid Conference

10 February 2016

Peter-Varghese by India Down-Under

Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Peter N Varghese AO

Prior to the integration of Ausaid and DFAT in November 2014, I had been on the periphery of aid policy issues for some 35 years.

Like many on the periphery, I had strong views.

I was a sceptic about the historical record of development assistance.

Indeed I had some sympathy for the view that aid was, for the most part, an area of policy failure paved with the best of intentions.

These days I do not have the luxury of armchair pontification.

The more I have been involved in aid policy as head of the Department responsible for its delivery, the more nuance has crept into my views.

The balance sheet today looks less stark.

The policy challenges are genuinely complex.

It is still my view that the most important ingredients of economic success for poor countries are good policies and good leadership.

No aid program can compensate for their absence.

But well thought through aid programs certainly can contribute to their presence.

Today I want to focus on three things.

First, I want to address three conceptual issues which are central to our aid program.

I want to address the link between private sector led economic growth and poverty reduction.

I want to explore the links between security and development.

And I want to say something about the anatomy of that difficult task of state-building.

Second, I want to talk about how we are addressing these concepts in the very different contexts of Asia, the Pacific and globally.

Finally, I want to say something about innovation and why we want it to have a more prominent place in our aid policy thinking.

Economic growth, the nature of that growth and poverty reduction

Let me start by exploring the links between private sector-led economic growth and poverty alleviation.

This is important because too often the debate about growth and poverty reduction turns into an either/or choice between poverty and growth.

This is a false dichotomy.

Generating growth in developing countries is always a balancing act between supporting overall economic development and supporting the poor to participate in that development.

That’s why in Australia’s aid program there continues to be considerable investment in human and social development, in social protection, in women’s empowerment and in disability inclusive development.

The empirical evidence on the centrality of economic development as a driver for poverty reduction is clear.

China is the obvious example.

More comprehensively, a 2013 World Bank analysis of growth and income changes across 118 countries over four decades shows that incomes of the bottom two quintiles in the population grew at about the same rate as the average annual incomes.

The report found that economic growth lifts people out of poverty and leads to shared prosperity on average.

It also helps to explain how the rapid growth in the developing world in recent decades has led to such dramatic poverty reduction.

What is also becoming clearer is that poverty in a country acts as a handbrake on growth.

In an American Economic Review article from a few years ago, Georgetown University Professor of Economics Martin Ravallion, found that poorer countries experience lower rates of economic growth.

In other words: poor countries grow slower.

Part of the solution comes with an emerging middle class.

A larger middle class makes growth more poverty-reducing – the handicaps faced by poor countries in their efforts to become less poor are very difficult to overcome.

Part of the population is caught in a poverty trap and doesn’t have the basic capabilities to respond to the opportunities that economic growth presents.

Finally, there is growing acceptance that countries with less inequality experience faster and more durable growth.

There is a clear consensus that sustainable job growth can only be delivered by a larger private sector.

There is also an emerging consensus on the importance of focusing on women’s empowerment and supporting women’s engagement in the economy and society.

It generates more growth — and growth that is more poverty reducing and more sustainable.

Recent McKinsey analysis suggests that if every country were to advance gender equality as well as its best performing neighbour, global GDP would increase by around $12 trillion or 11 percent over the next decade.

Indeed, the very first line of the McKinsey report sets out exactly what’s at stake:

‘Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge.  If women – who account for half the world’s population – do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.’

Importantly, supporting economic development involves much more than development assistance alone.

The Howard Government decision in 2003 to remove tariffs and quotas from imports from Least Developed Countries has seen imports from those countries grow at an average rate of 16 percent per year over the past decade.

In 2015, Australia’s two-way merchandise trade with countries with which Australia has an ongoing bilateral development partnership was valued at about $33 billion – more than ten times the value of the development assistance.

The Government’s economic diplomacy agenda recognises that the deployment of our foreign policy, trade and development instruments in an integrated manner delivers a better overall result.

Aid-for-trade investments without focusing on stronger market access make little sense.

Pacific Friends operates as a program within the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
Chair
Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director

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.

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