Browsing articles in "Development Aid"
24 September 2013
Shawn Clackett

UK Commits £1 Billion to the Global Fund

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

NEW YORK – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today congratulated the United Kingdom for demonstrating strong leadership in global health with a major contribution to the Global Fund for the next three years.

Justine Greening, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, announced that the UK will contribute £1 Billion (US$1.6 billion) to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period, or £333 million ($US533 million) per year, the second-largest pledge by any government so far. The United States has requested US$1.65 billion per year for the Global Fund in its 2014 budget.

Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, cited the extraordinary leadership and generosity of the United Kingdom and thanked Prime Minister David Cameron for his long-term vision and Secretary Greening for her unwavering support.

“This commitment will underlie a transformative step forward for the Global Fund and partners in their ‎fight to defeat AIDS, TB and malaria,” said Dr. Mboi. “The UK gives us all an inspiring model of responsible global citizenship.”

The UK commitment is geared toward encouraging other donors to maximize their own pledges to the Global Fund, effectively unlocking additional funds with each contribution, as the UK contribution is limited to a maximum of 10 per cent of the total raised for the Global Fund.

The Department for International Development, which leads the UK’s efforts to end extreme poverty, has championed the cause of helping to halve malaria deaths in 10 of the worst affected countries by 2015. It has also been a strong advocate of the launch this year of a new funding model that allows the Global Fund to invest more strategically, achieve greater impact and engage partners more effectively.

The UK has targeted saving the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborn babies as well as helping to immunize more than 55 million children against preventable diseases. Allowing at least 10 million more women to use modern methods of family planning by 2015 is also a priority.

The announcement, made in New York just before the start of the United Nations General Assembly, followed a pledge earlier this month by Nordic countries, including Sweden and Norway, of US$750 million for the 2014-16 period, representing an increase of US$150 million.

The Global Fund is convening a once-every-three years pledging conference, known as the Global Fund’s Fourth Replenishment, in late 2013. It has set a goal of raising US$15 billion so that it can effectively support countries in fighting these three infectious diseases in the 2014-2016 period.

23 September 2013
Shawn Clackett

UK pledges £1bn to battle some of world’s most devastating preventable diseases

Article From the Independent by Charlie Cooper
Monday 23 September 2013
http://www.independent.co.uk/

Photo from the Independent

Only the USA will pay more on global health  – with our contribution aiming to save ‘a life every three minutes’

The UK has pledged to save “a life every three minutes” with a major new aid commitment to fight some of the world’s most devastating preventable diseases.

More than £1bn will be spent over the next three years on global health initiatives, through the flagship Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The pledge doubles the Government’s current commitment to the fund, and makes the UK the second biggest donor after the USA.

Justine Greening, the international development secretary, said that fighting preventable disease was “in all of our interests.”

The Global Fund, set up in 2002, is already estimated to have saved 8.7 million lives, with 5.3 million people now receiving antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV; 11 million new TB cases detected and treated and 340 million insecticide treated nets distributed to protect families from malaria.

Over the next three years, the UK will deliver lifesaving antiretroviral treatment to an additional 750,000 living with HIV, 32 million more insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent transmission of malaria, and TB treatment for more than a million people.

The Department for International Development estimates that the UK’s new funding commitment will save 590,400 lives between 2014 and 2016 – or one every three minutes.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose philanthropic foundation was instrumental in setting up the Fund, said that other donors should “follow the example of the UK”.

The Global Fund is the world’s biggest financer of programmes to prevent, treat and care for people with HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. The UK was a founding donor, and committed £1bn from 2008 to 2015, a grant which the new funding commitment renews.

“AIDS, TB and Malaria are among the world’s biggest killers despite being entirely preventable and treatable,” Ms Greening said at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, where she announced the new spending yesterday [Monday]. “The Global Fund has already helped save millions of lives but we must keep up the momentum if we are to beat these diseases for good.”

The fund accounts for accounts for 21 per cent of all international funding for HIV/AIDS, 82 per cent of international TB funding, and 50 per cent of the global malaria spend. It has approved over $23 billion for over 1,000 grants in more than 150 countries.

Projects financed by the Global Fund have contributed to a marked decline in HIV infection rates and AIDS-related deaths in recent years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that the annual number of people dying from AIDS-related causes worldwide is steadily decreasing from a peak of 2.3 million in 2005 to an estimated 1.7 million [1.5–1.9 million] in 2011.

Significant progress has also been made in the prevention of malaria. The WHO’s World Malaria Report for 2012 reported that 50 countries were on track to reduce malaria incidence by 75 per cent between 2000 and 2015.

The spread of TB, the world’s second biggest infectious killer after HIV/AIDS, is declining, but only slowly. Global Fund financing has supported detection and treatment of 11 million smear-positive cases of TB, up from 9.7 million at the end of 2012.

As of 1 July, 5.3 million people living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy under programs supported by the Global Fund, up from 4.2 million at the end of 2012.

Meanwhile, 30 million insecticide-treated nets were distributed in the first half of 2013 under programs supported by the Global Fund, taking the total number of nets distributed to 340 million.

Bill Gates, co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “The Global Fund has helped the world make incredible progress in the past decade toward ending  HIV, TB, and malaria. I am delighted by the news today that the UK will commit a further £1 billion to the Global Fund. I hope that other leading donors will follow the example of the UK by more generously supporting the work of the Fund so that we can accelerate our progress toward stopping three epidemics that significantly impact the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people.”

19 September 2013
Shawn Clackett

News Release: Global Fund and Cameroon Announce New Funding for HIV Treatment

From the 18 September 2013 Global Fund News Release

Children in Cameroon - Photo from www.healthcarevolunteer.com

YAOUNDE, Cameroon – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Cameroon jointly announced that they are both significantly increasing their funding for anti-retroviral drugs to meet the country’s fast–growing HIV treatment needs.

The Global Fund has approved a $US 20 million grant agreement for HIV treatment while Cameroon said it will nearly double the amount for purchasing anti-retroviral medicines in its annual budget, which will increase to $US 20 million in 2014 from $US 11 million.

The new joint funding initiatives, which make a big contribution to securing anti-retroviral treatment for more than 122,000 people, were announced by Cameroon’s Health Minister, Andre Mama Fouda, and by Lelio Marmora, the Global Fund’s head for Africa and the Middle East, at a news conference in Yaoundé on Tuesday evening.

“This new funding from the Global Fund and from Cameroon is going to make a real difference,” said Marmora. “We warmly welcome the government’s strong initiative in helping to put the procurement and supply of antiretroviral medicines on a strong footing.”

Minister Fouda said Cameroon was strongly committed to sharing the cost with the Global Fund of funding a significant increase in the number of people living with HIV who receive anti-retroviral treatment in the country.

“We must mobilize all our energy to achieve this goal and that means each of us must play an important part,” said Minister Fouda.

Today’s news means that extraordinary funding of $US 10 million announced by President Paul Biya in August to help cover antiretroviral needs until October 2014 will now be consolidated in the national budget on an annually recurring basis.

The number of people living with HIV who receive antiretroviral treatment has more than doubled since 2009. At the end of 2012, 122,000 people were on HIV treatment, or 42 percent of those requiring it. On average in 2012, some 1,400 new patients were starting treatment with anti-retroviral medicines every month.

Marmora and Minister Fouda said the Global Fund and Cameroon would also work together on a nationwide campaign, starting in 2015, to distribute up to 12 million long lasting insecticide-treated nets and provide every family in the country with protection against mosquitoes. More than 8 million nets distributed in an earlier campaign in 2011 will be starting to wear out by the time the 2015 campaign is launched.

“The Global Fund is strongly committed to supporting the net distribution campaign and will concentrate its resources and efforts on purchasing the long lasting nets, allowing Cameroon to distribute them throughout the country,” said Marmora.

Malaria is the leading cause of death among children under 5 in Cameroon.

The Global Fund and the U.S. President Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are also providing US$10 million of emergency funding to Cameroon in order to keep supplies of antiretroviral drugs flowing until the end of 2013.

Minister Fouda said all people, regardless of ethnic origin and religious belief, and including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in Cameroon had unrestrained access to healthcare. “When somebody has a health problem, we treat the illness”, he said.  “The right to treatment and to receiving healthcare is not in any way discriminatory.”

Marmora said the Global Fund condemned all forms of violence against people because of sexual orientation or perceived HIV status, adding that discrimination and criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people undermined efforts to defeat the HIV epidemic.

The murder of Eric Ohena Lembembe, a prominent Cameroonian journalist and LGBT activist, in July drew widespread international condemnation.

11 July 2013
Shawn Clackett

Namibia and the Global Fund Sign US$100 Million Grant Agreement

Children in Namibia

WINDHOEK, Namibia – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today signed agreements with Namibia for US$91.6 million to further support the national HIV response and US$8.5 million for malaria programs.

“We are very pleased to be signing these grants, which will allow us to continue to improve the quality of health of our people in Namibia,” said Dr. Richard Kamwi, Minister of Health. “The Global Fund continues to be an important partner in our country, and we are committed to continue investing in this fight. Our government is currently funding 75 percent of ARV treatment and we thank the Global Fund for funding the remaining 25 percent. Thanks to this support we were able to reach 85 percent coverage in March last year.”

The HIV grant signed today amounts to US$91.6 million. Another grant for US$19 million will be signed next week. Programs supported by these grants will be implemented jointly by the Ministry of Health of Namibia and NANASO, a Network of AIDS Service Organizations whose main focus is prevention and care.

“This is an important milestone for Civil Society in Namibia,” said Mr. Sandie Tjaronda, Executive Director of NANASO. “It symbolizes not only global solidarity but the need for strengthened collaborations to record more success stories in the national response. HIV and AIDS can be concurred and there is no appropriate time than now.”

The program will focus on high impact interventions including treatment, care and support, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, scaling-up voluntary male medical circumcision, basic prevention for men who have sex with men and sex workers; and cross-cutting activities such as strategic and targeted behavioral change communication, HIV counseling and testing and condom promotion and distribution.

“Namibia is a great example of a Global Fund partnership at work,” said Lelio Marmora, Head of Africa and the Middle East for the Global Fund. “Government, technical partners, civil society, and bilateral agencies all came together to ensure that high impact interventions were included and that funding and programmatic gaps were addressed. We want to thank everyone for their commitment to the process.”

Whereas the 13.4 percent HIV prevalence in the general population in the country is one of the highest in the continent, Namibia has made important progress showing a declining trend in new infections: from an estimated 10,000 in 2008 to 8,000 in 2011. Namibia has also succeeded in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, with 5 percent of infants born with HIV in 2012.

Regarding malaria, Namibia has shown remarkable progress with mortality declining from 1,700 deaths in 2001 to 36 deaths in 2011. Malaria out-patient cases have fallen from 521,067 cases in 2001 to 14,406 cases in 2011.

The country is progressing from malaria control to malaria pre-elimination,  faster than anticipated. Namibia is already ahead of targets established in a National Strategic Framework 2010 – 2016.

The main interventions  include strengthening the surveillance system, combining prevention strategies of Indoor Residual Spraying in high-transmission areas and mass distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide-treated nets, active case surveillance and expansion of community-based interventions and cross-border control.

Since its inception, the Global Fund has approved US$325.5 million for grants in Namibia for the three diseases and over US$190 million has been disbursed for program implementation.

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27 September 2012
Guest Contributor

Australian PM joins UN Secretary General in prioritising malaria

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York today, the Australian Prime Minister lent her support of addressing the global burden of malaria. In her speech which detailed the practical progress necessary towards realising global goals  in the world, Julia Gillard announced that Australia would support the global fight against drug resistant malaria, stating “the Secretary-General has made malaria one of his key priorities for his second term. It is a priority we share.”

The Prime Minster also identified the clear relationship between addressing malaria, and the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals in the next three years. She described 2015 as both a goal and new point of departure for much new work. “Where the world has fallen short of ambitious goals, our response must be action, not disillusion,” said Ms Gillard. “This is what Australia will do. We will act.”

Earlier this year, the Australian Prime Minister accepted Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s invitation to co-chair the Millennium Development Goal Advocacy Group and to continue to advocate for practical progress in the coming three years. These goals include the eradication of extreme poverty, halving the incidence of malarial infections, cutting child-related mortality rated by two-thirds, and reversing the spread of HIV & AIDS.

Ms Gillard pledged Australia’s contribution towards the important work of the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, affirming Australia considerable national experience in working with least developed countries – especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Later this year, Sydney will host Malaria 2012, bringing together political leaders, civil society and the private sector to accelerate efforts to control and eliminate malaria and combat climbing rates of drug resistance. Since 2000, the world has cut the number of deaths from malaria by 26 per cent. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2010 there were over 30 million malaria cases and 42,000 deaths in the Asia-Pacific Region.

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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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