Browsing articles in "The Global Fund"
14 December 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Sees End to Paternalism

CAPE TOWN, South Africa –Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said the paternalism overshadowing relations between rich countries and poor in global health is giving way to an era of partnership that owes much to the vision of Nelson Mandela.

In a closing speech at the 17th International Conference on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in Africa (ICASA), Dr. Dybul paid a rousing tribute to the late South African leader, saying Mandela “broke the silence on HIV in Africa and he broke the silence on HIV in the world.”

“This week, let us finally end the paternalism in the world,” said Dr. Dybul.

Instead, he urged everyone to embrace Mandela’s vision for a world where every human being was a master of his or her destiny. A meeting of the International AIDS Society in Durban in 2000, which Mandela addressed, was widely seen as a turning point in the fight for wide access to treatment for HIV and opened the way to the creation of the Global Fund two years later.

The theme of the ICASA conference in Cape Town was entitled “Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero,” underscoring a mood of growing optimism that the HIV pandemic can be turned into a low-level endemic that no longer poses a public health risk.

Dr. Dybul also called for the next ICASA meeting to add tuberculosis — the leading cause of death among those with HIV — to its name so that the disease “receives the emphasis it deserves.”

“HIV and TB are like two evil twins and we have the power and the responsibility to release them and we have the power and the responsibility to defeat them,” he said.

The time was long gone for “people from somewhere else” to tell countries in Africa how to tackle the AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. “Your results have shattered the paternalistic myths of what should and can be done,” Dr. Dybul said.

Earlier in the day, Edwin Cameron, who serves as a justice on South Africa’s constitutional court, said stigma was one of the biggest obstacles to defeating the HIV pandemic.

“Stigma remains the most intractably resistant force in the epidemic,” Justice Cameron said. “It spreads blame, fear, inhibition, inaction and silence.”

Justice Cameron, who became the first senior official in South Africa to state in public that he was living with HIV,  said men who have sex with men were shamefully treated in Africa: “Thirty-eight countries in Africa still persecute those who, like me, are oriented towards our same sex.”

The chair of the ICASA conference, Robert Soudré, said African countries could not continue to rely indefinitely on external support for HIV treatment.

“More than 80 percent of medicines are financed from external sources and that cannot continue,” said Soudré. “Our countries will have to make available their own resources and governments will have to rely above all on themselves.”

He added: “Zero stigma is what we should aim to achieve everywhere in the world, but also on our African continent.”

Dr. Dybul said although there was no single “silver bullet” that could end the HIV pandemic it was essential to deal with strongholds of infection among young women and girls; men who have sex with men; sex workers; people who inject drugs and prisoners.

“If we are going to address this epidemic we must deal with the strongholds. We must have our tools available for the most vulnerable and that means creating an inclusive human family,” he said.

“Let’s end silver bullet approaches to this epidemic and let’s just end the epidemic.”

6 December 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Donors Pledge US$12 Billion

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says innovation and partnership in global health by the private sector are playing an increasingly important role in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. (K. Connor/Getty Images for the Global Fund)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says innovation and partnership in global health by the private sector are playing an increasingly important role in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. (K. Connor/Getty Images for the Global Fund)

WASHINGTON D.C. – Donors at the launch of the Global Fund’s Fourth Replenishment today pledged US$12.0 billion for the next three years, the largest amount ever committed to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The pledges represent a 30 percent increase over the US$9.2 billion in firm pledges secured in 2010 for the 2011-2013 period. In remarks made at a pledging session here today, several partners echoed the Global Fund leadership’s determination to attract further commitments during the coming three years in order to defeat the diseases.

“We’ve had a terrific beginning,” said Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, who led the pledging session. “I offer heartfelt thanks for the generosity of all partners in this effort. Now let’s go to work.”

Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said in remarks that closed the Replenishment launch: “The 21st Century ideals that led to the founding of the Global Fund are now stronger than ever: partnership, shared responsibility, and mutual accountability. In many ways, this is a replenishment of hope. It is a lifting up of the human spirit.”

A mood of optimistic determination at the pledging session at the Replenishment launch was captured in an opening address by Ambassador Samantha Power, the Permanent Representative to the UN for the United States government, which hosted the Fourth Replenishment.

“We can beat this,” said Ambassador Power, referring to AIDS, TB and malaria. “Good things happen when multilateral organizations and national governments work together with scientists, philanthropists and civil society. Good things happen when we share responsibility and good things happen when we never give up. Above all, good things happen when we value every human life and honor the rights and dignity of every human being.”

The contributions announced today include funding from 25 countries, as well as the European Commission, private foundations, corporations and faith-based organizations.

President Barack Obama on Monday urged other countries to match the U.S. contribution in order to secure the funding needed. President Obama said the United States – the Global Fund’s biggest donor — would uphold its challenge to pledge $1 for every $2 committed by others through September 2014.

At the pledging session today, the United States pledged US$4 billion, although that could rise as additional pledges are made by other donors, up to a maximum of US$5 billion. Some participating countries unable to pledge at today’s session said that they plan to do so in the coming months. Several leading donors publicly announced pledges in the previous months, although a few did so just before the Replenishment launch.

The Government of Japan announced a contribution of US$800 million today, underscoring its strong and sustained commitment to the Global Fund. Canada announced that it is contributing US$612 million to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period.

Germany also announced it is signing a binding agreement to contribute €600 million to the Global Fund for 2014-2016, consistent with an earlier pledge. Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video message this week that Germany’s longstanding support would never waver.

In recent months, France, the United Kingdom and Nordic countries also announced large new commitments to the Global Fund.

President Francois Hollande announced in July that France would contribute EUR 1.08 billion (US$1.5 billion) to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period, reaffirming its robust financial commitment, despite a deeply constrained financial environment. France has been the Global Fund’s second largest contributor since its inception in 2002.

The United Kingdom announced at the U.N. General Assembly in September that it will contribute £1 Billion (US$1.6 billion) to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period, the second-largest pledge by any government so far after the United States.

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

Partners from private sector foundations and corporations also unveiled significant increases in their commitment of resources in the fight against the three diseases.

Bill Gates announced on Monday that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committing up to US$500 million to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period. This includes US$300 million previously announced and up to US$200 million in new money that will be used to match other donor commitments.

(RED) said that it is contributing US$40 million over the next two years. Other companies and faith-based organizations also made significant pledges, including Vale, Ecobank, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and the United Methodist Church.

Securing fresh resources for the next three years will help the Global Fund move closer  with its partners toward a tipping point in controlling these epidemics, turning what scientists call high-transmission epidemics into low-level endemics and making them manageable health challenges instead of global emergencies.

 “We need a comprehensive approach,” said Ambassador Power. “TB is the leading killer of people with AIDS, and 80 percent of deaths from malaria occur in just 14 countries.”

 “We have finally reached the time when we can envision a future where AIDS, TB and malaria no longer claim millions of lives each year,” she concluded.

3 December 2013
Shawn Clackett

The Global Fund’s Fourth Replenishment


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.”

27 November 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Takes Action to Prevent Wrongful Conduct

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.

11 November 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Thanks President Hollande

From the Global Fund News Release 05 November 2013

Global Fund Thanks President Hollande

PARIS – President Francois Hollande of France met today with the Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, to discuss joint commitment fighting disease with strong financial and moral support from France.

Dr. Nafsiah Mboi told the President that France’s distinguished leadership in global health has made a tremendous difference in the lives of millions of people around the world.

“It is my pleasure to thank you for the solidarity and leadership France has shown the global family in the continuing effort to contain AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to improve global public health,” said Dr. Nafsiah Mboi at the meeting in the President’s official residence, the Elysée Palace.

“We are immensely grateful to the French government and French people for sustained and generous financial support of the Global Fund,” said Dr. Nafsiah Mboi. “The knowledge and skills to control and ultimately defeat these diseases is reaching the far corners of the globe, with the help of France.”

Dr. Nafsiah Mboi was joined by Mireille Guigaz, the Vice Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, as well as Pascal Canfin, France’s Minister of Development, and Mark Dybul, the Global Fund’s Executive Director.

President Hollande said he wanted France to strengthen cooperation with the Global Fund, both at its headquarters in Geneva and in the field by stepping up involvement of the French diplomatic service, notably in francophone countries.

President Hollande today reaffirmed France’s strong financial commitment to the Global Fund despite tight budgetary constraints, saying that France will contribute €1.08 billion (US$1.4 billion) to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period, consistent with an announcement in July.

“The President of the Republic expressed his wishes that the replenishment conference of the Global Fund on December 3 in Washington will be a success,” said a statement by the French President’s office.

The statement cited France’s role as a pioneer in innovative financing programs such as UNITAID, a global health initiative which France helped to establish, funded mostly from a levy on airline tickets.

“The eradication of AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria requires vigorous and coordinated international mobilization,” Minister Canfin said.

“France reaffirms its determination in this fight, in which the Global Fund is one of the main tools.  We are the first generation of political leaders who can contribute to bringing the three pandemics to an end.”

Mireille Guigaz indicated that “with the Global Fund, UNITAID, GAVI as well as French scientific and technical expertise and multiple firms acting in the public health sector, France as a wonderful set of tools to impact for the fight against the three diseases.”

France is the second largest contributor overall to the Global Fund after the United States, and has donated more than $3.6 billion to the Global Fund since its inception in 2002.

France has also extended the reach and impact of its investments in global health by working through the Global Fund. Since 2011, up to five per cent of France’s contribution to the Global Fund has been earmarked for capacity-building activities in Francophone countries aimed at improving the effectiveness and health impact of Global Fund grants.

Global Fund Thanks President Hollande

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Bill Bowtell AO
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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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