Browsing articles in "Media Release"
24 September 2013
Shawn Clackett

UK Support for Global Fund will Save Lives in our Region

Bill Bowtell

Bill Bowtell AO, Executive Director of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund

Yesterday’s decision by the United Kingdom to pledge £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will help save thousands of lives around the world over the next three years, according to Bill Bowtell, Executive Director of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund.

The Global Fund was established to finance the fight against the world’s three biggest killers: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It is currently seeking $US15 billion to continue its work for 2014-2016 from rich nations, including Australia, as well as the private sector and philanthropists.

Mr Bowtell said the Cameron government had displayed great leadership.

“Australia should now also commit to increasing its support for the life-saving work of the Global Fund,” he said.

“We now have the scientific advances that enable us to remove these three diseases as threats to global public health.

“All we need is the money.”

“Defeating these three killer diseases is a highly worthwhile investment in economic development and growth.

“The Global Fund – which operates to the highest levels of transparency, accountability and proven outcomes – is absolutely critical to making our region a more stable and prosperous part of the world.”

Since 2002 Global Fund investments in Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea have saved tens of thousands of lives.

“In Papua New Guinea, the Global Fund has financed the delivery of almost 4.5 million mosquito nets to stop the spread of malaria. It has also helped detect and treat 42,000 cases of tuberculosis and has invested some $US40 million on HIV prevention and treatment programs.

“There are tens of thousands of people alive today due to the work of the Global Fund and the government of Papua New Guinea – supported by Australia.

“Now more than ever, rich nations need to boost support for the Global Fund. It’s in everyone’s interests to make the world a safer and healthier place.”

The United Kingdom’s 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 United Kingdom contribution is limited to a maximum of ten 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 ten 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.

26 March 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund News Flash

Issue 16 – 21 March 2013

The Global Fund Logo

New Funding Model Hits the Ground Running

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries taking the lead in implementing the Global Fund’s new funding model that was launched last month. Among the 50 or so countries that will access new funding in a transition phase this year, the DRC  is one of a handful invited to participate fully, going through all steps of the application process from submission of a concept note to creation of a new grant. At a gathering in Kinshasa, senior officials from DRC and the Global Fund discussed the context and dynamics of the new funding model, where US$130 in additional funding has been identified for HIV programs and US$ 85 million for malaria. Those investments will support programs that provide a significant amount of antiretroviral drugs to HIV patients and provide millions of replacement mosquito nets to people trying to prevent the spread of malaria. The DRC’s Minister of Health, Dr Felix Kabange, cited the flexibility and the inclusive dialogue in the new funding model, and said he had already seen signs of it in preparatory work in recent months. “I have seen things change significantly, both in our way of discussing things and in the way of dealing with problems and defining priorities,” Kabange said. The DRC and the Global Fund had established a true partnership, he said. “We are engaged in a constructive dialogue, which cannot fail to lead to advances.”

Mark Edington, Head of Grant Management at the Global Fund, who was also in Kinshasa for the event, said that partnership is most effective in countries which are already investing significant amounts of their own resources in fighting disease. He highlighted Kabange’s strong personal commitment to increased domestic funding of health programs, but said that the DRC’s government needed to make more health financing available for HIV, TB and malaria to match the grants. “We need to see the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo recognize the importance of investing in health and we need to see them put money into fighting the three diseases,” he said. “There is so much to do in the DRC and, while the Minister of Health is extremely committed to putting sufficient amounts in the budget, to date, the National Assembly has not upheld his budget lines.” Only 12 percent of people who need antiretroviral therapy are getting the medication in DRC and only 6 percent of pregnant women receive antiretroviral therapy that prevents the transmission of HIV to their child, he added. Kabange and Edington both promised to work to succeed in getting the DRC to invest more in health services given its high disease burden.

21 March 2013
Shawn Clackett

To Stop Tuberculosis In Its Tracks, Urgent Global Action Is Needed

An Article from Forbes Posted 3/19/2013 @ 8:00AM
By John Lechleiter, Contributor

TB is a Curable Disease

One of the most severe cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the United States has been reported in southern Texas: a strain of TB resilient to at least eight of the 15 drugs used to treat this deadly airborne disease. This report comes hot on the heels of news that South Africa has become the fourth country – after India, Iran and Italy – to register strains of TB that can overpower at least 10 of these drugs.

As we mark World TB Day on Sunday March 24, there can be no denying that TB, fueled by drug resistance, continues to pose a serious global health threat – one that must be urgently addressed. An outbreak of drug-resistant TB in New York City in the early 1990s cost more than $1 billion and killed 29 Americans. With resistance spreading, we need a renewed global commitment that combines public and private efforts to defeat TB.

According to the World Health Organization, more than eight million people became infected with TB and 1.4 million died in 2011 – that’s about the entire population of Greater Indianapolis, the city where I live. And between 2009 and 2011, drug-resistant TB cases doubled in the 27 most-affected countries.

Yet there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. New partnership models are marshaling the resources and knowledge required to produce new TB innovations that can outflank the disease – and ensure that patients benefit from them.

For example, Cepheid has developed a rapid diagnostic test, GeneXpert, which can identify TB – and the presence of drug-resistant bacteria – in about two hours. The U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are now collaborating in countries with high TB burdens to subsidize the purchase of these state-of-the-art tools.

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25 January 2013
Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom

Germany Makes EUR 1 Billion Contribution to the Global Fund

The Global Fund has just announced in a press release that Germany has pledged a total of EUR 1 billion to the Global Fund, consisting of EUR 200 million annual contributions over 5 years.

Alongside Bill Gates and the Global Fund’s new Executive Director Mark Dybul, Dirk Niebel, the Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development announces Germany’s EUR 1 billion financial contribution to the Global Fund at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

DAVOS, Switzerland – The Federal Republic of Germany announced today that it will contribute EUR 1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, enabling health workers to continue efforts to prevent and treat these three highly infectious diseases.

The announcement was made by Dirk Niebel, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, also attended by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.

“We need to continue to devote hard work and determined efforts to halting the spread of HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases,” said Mr. Niebel. “We are close to turning the tide. I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of AIDS. This is an achievement, not least, of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which recently undertook reforms.”

The commitment represents a continuation of Germany’s pledge for annual contributions of EUR 200 million for a total of five years, through 2016.

“This commitment is a tremendous milestone,” said Dr. Dybul, who became Executive Director of the Global Fund on 21 January. “It means health workers and the people they serve in countries like Ethiopia, Myanmar and Haiti can make a huge difference. Everyone is grateful to Germany for its generosity and for its recognition that investing in global health benefits us all.”

Sustained funding from donors, together with contributions by local governments, allows developing countries to pursue a strong fight against the three diseases: HIV transmission rates are falling in nearly every region, including the worst affected countries. TB mortality has fallen by more than a third since the 1990s. Insecticide-treated nets have been widely distributed to protect millions of families from malaria.

“We can defeat AIDS, TB and malaria,” said Dr. Dybul. “We need funding to get it done. We are at a critical moment for funding, and we need a big push this year.”

In 2013, the Global Fund will host a once-every-three-years fund raising conference where donors can announce commitments to the Global Fund, enabling the Global Fund to increase the predictability of its efforts.

Germany has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund since the beginning and has taken the lead in Europe to announce this important pledge, showing commitment and endorsement for the efforts to transform the Global Fund into a highly efficient channel for financing a sustainable, long-term response to the three diseases.

These financial resources will allow the Global Fund to further support countries as they work to meet the Millennium Development Goals related to health.

However, the demand for funding is likely to outstrip the impressive commitment made today. The Global Fund will continue to seek additional sources of funding, and to explain the need for more contributions from wealthy donor nations and the private sector.

One financing initiative that Germany has pioneered is Debt2Health, a Global Fund scheme that allows developing countries to free up debt and invest it in programs for the three diseases. Germany has signed such agreements with Indonesia, Pakistan, Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt/Ethiopia.

26 September 2012
Guest Contributor

The Big Push in the Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

New York was the stage today for the launch of ‘The Big Push’, a world-wide campaign by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in collaboration with the Huffington Post.

“What will the day be like when we finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria?” asked editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington. The Big Push rallies support to achieve global health goals that are now within reach. We can eradicate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the planet’s three deadliest preventable diseases. But we need that final, big push.

Arianna noted the tremendous global advances that have already been made in this effort:

  • Since 2000, malaria infections have declined by 50 percent or more in a dozen African countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa in 2003, only 100,000 people were receiving antiretroviral therapy. Now, the number is more than 6 million. By 2015, it will go up to 15 million worldwide.
  • Worldwide, tuberculosis infections have been declining since 2006 and, at the current rate, we will reach the Millennium Development Goal of cutting tuberculosis cases and deaths in half by 2015.

“Of course, this didn’t just happen.” said Arianna. “It’s a testament to the amazing dedication, hard work, and perseverance of organizations like the Global Fund, PEPFAR and many more, along with the leaders of the U.S. and the G20. Not to mention the leadership and citizens of the developing nations themselves, who truly have the most to win in this fight: the lives and futures of their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children.”

The campaign was initiated by organizations that are mobilising efforts to reach health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and by Ray Chambers, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria and MDG Advocate.

“What we need is the funding to deliver on these goals,” said Mr. Chambers. “We have made tremendous progress, but there is further to go. We can’t stop now.”

The centerpiece of the campaign is a wall of portraits, in which citizens around the world add photos of themselves holding signs that demonstrate their commitment to fighting these diseases.

We need a Big Push to change the course of history for global health.

Join Bono, Charlize Theron, Bill Clinton and others in ‘The Big Push’ for global health at:

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

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
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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