Pacific Friends of the Global Fund warmly welcomes incoming Chair of the Advisory Council, Professor Janice Reid.
Pacific Friends Executive Director, Mr Bill Bowtell says “I am delighted that Jan Reid has agreed to become the Chair of the Pacific Friends Advisory Council. Jan has been an outstanding academic and administrator, and brings to her new role a deep commitment to health and development, and vital role of women and girls in improving outcomes in developing countries. The Advisory Council looks forward to working closely with Jan to secure a good outcome for the 2016 Global Fund replenishment.”
Professor Reid was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Western Sydney from 1998 to 2013. She has served on the Federal Higher Education Council, the Executive of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Federal Council for Australia-Latin America Relations and the 2002 Federal Higher Education Review Reference Group.
She has served on research and fellowship committees of the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Trust and Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and as Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare from 1995 to 2001. She chaired the national review of nursing education in Australia in 1994 and has been a member of the boards of the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission and Agency for Clinical Innovation, public agencies charged with promoting safety and quality in health care. In 2013 she was appointed to the state advisory council of St Vincent’s Hospital (NSW).
In 2015 Professor Reid was made a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) for “eminent service to the tertiary education sector through executive roles, as an advocate for equitable access to educational opportunities, particularly for Indigenous, refugee and lower socio-economic communities, and to health, medical and health care research and cultural bodies”.
Global Fund News Release – 16 March 2015
TOKYO – The Government of Japan announced on 16 March 2015 that it would host the Global Fund’s Replenishment Preparatory Meeting in December 2015, an important milestone in the three-year funding cycle aimed at ending AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
The Replenishment Preparatory Meeting will be held in Tokyo on 17 December 2015, and will provide partners with key information on the impact achieved and the resources needed to accelerate efforts to end the epidemics over the next three years. A Replenishment Pledging Conference is planned for mid-2016.
The meeting also provides a forum for representatives of governments, civil society, the private sector and multilateral agencies to exchange views on innovative approaches to end the epidemics in partnership with the Global Fund. This is the first time the Preparatory Meeting has been held in Asia.
At a symposium to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke about the Government of Japan’s support for the Global Fund. “Japan was instrumental in the launch, and has worked tirelessly towards the development, with the fund aiming at ending the “big three” infectious diseases of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. This year as well, Japan will make a contribution of 190 million U.S. dollars to that Fund, and come December, we will host a meeting to discuss the future of the Fund in Tokyo.”
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, welcomed Japan’s contribution as a strong vote of confidence in the Fund.
“Japan has been an unwavering supporter of the Global Fund since inception, providing both financial and intellectual leadership to our partnership,” Dr. Dybul said. “Prime Minister Abe’s commitment to ending these epidemics and promoting the achievement of universal health coverage demonstrates genuine global health leadership.”
Japan is the Global Fund’s fifth largest donor. Japan introduced infectious diseases to the G8 Summit’s agenda in Okinawa, which paved the path for the Global Fund’s establishment. Since then, and with the formal inception of the Fund in 2002, Japan and the Global Fund have been close partners.
The previous Preparatory Meeting was held in Brussels in May 2013, followed by the Global Fund’s Fourth Voluntary Replenishment Conference in Washington DC in December 2013, where US$12 billion was raised.
Port Moresby – Lady Roslyn Morauta, Chairperson of the Papua New Guinea Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for the Global Fund, said today that she was delighted that the Global Fund had continued its support to health programs in Papua New Guinea by signing three new grant agreements worth US$50 million to the end of 2017 for Malaria, Tuberculosis and Health System Strengthening.
Since 2004, the Global Fund has approved grants for Papua New Guinea worth US$187 million. In addition to this, a total of US$83 million has been approved by the Global Fund for Papua New Guinea for 2014-2017.
At the grant signing ceremony held at the National Department of Health, Lady Morauta thanked Dr Mark Dybul, the Executive Director of the Global Fund, and representatives of donors to the Global Fund. The financial resources provided through the Global Fund come from many donors, represented in Port Moresby today by the Australian High Commissioner, and the Ambassadors of the United States and the European Union.
She also thanked the Minister for Health, Hon Michael Malabag and Health Secretary Pascoe Kase for working closely with the CCM to meet grant conditions and to finalise the grant proposals to the Global Fund.
The CCM is a multi-stakeholder body, including representatives from the Government, the private sector, churches, NGOs, academic institutions, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and people living with the diseases targeted by the Global Fund (HIV, TB and Malaria). The CCM develops and submits grant proposals to the Global Fund based on the priority needs of the disease strategies of the National Department of Health. After grant approval, the CCM oversees progress during the implementation, so it plays a key role in oversight of the grants. Drawdown of funds is based on performance.
The Implementers/Principal Recipients for the new grants are Rotarians Against Malaria and Population Services International for Malaria, and World Vision for TB. The TB grant also has an over-arching Health System Strengthening component.
“The key to success of these grants is not just the commitment and hard work of the Principal Recipients, but a close working relationship with the National and Provincial Health Departments and District Authorities, who in fact carry out a large bulk of the activities funded by the grants,” Lady Morauta said.
The CCM Chair noted that the Government’s investment in Global Fund supported programs was significant. For the period 2012-2014 the government contribution to the programs totaled US$62 million. This is expected to increase by 78% during 2015-2017, with an indicative budgeted amount of US$110 million.
“The CCM is proud that the PNG Government’s commitment to these programs is strong. This is an important achievement. The initial Global Fund programs in PNG were almost entirely funded by the Global Fund, which caused problems when the grants ended. The close of the first HIV grant, for example, left many gaps in government and church HIV services, and also for patients. The sustainability of these programs is critical. The Government now recognises the importance of continuity, and is making a substantial co-financing contribution.”
Lady Roslyn also paid tribute to the Australian Government, the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS for the on-going technical and financial support they provided to the CCM.
The grant agreements were signed by Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, Gabriele Ganci, Country Director of Population Services International, Ron Seddon, Chairman of Rotarians Against Malaria, Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia, Curt Von Boguslawski, Country Director for World Vision, Roslyn Morauta as Chair of the PNG CCM and Heni Meke, representing civil society organisations on the CCM.
The two malaria grants, worth a combined total of US$32 million, will be used to fund purchase and distribution of 2.8 million mosquito nets and training of community health workers. The grants will also support prompt diagnosis of malaria, strengthen monitoring and improve access to care for the country’s most disadvantaged communities.
The other US$18 million grant, to be administered by the international and Australian divisions of World Vision, aims to reduce the incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis in PNG. The grant will be used to improve the recruitment and retention of clinical staff. It will also strengthen the systems needed to enable access to quality drugs and laboratory diagnostics for HIV, TB and Malaria, helping to build a stronger health system as a whole.
Lady Morauta said that, thanks to previous funding from the Global Fund and the strategy followed by the National Government, Papua New Guinea had made tremendous progress in its campaign against malaria. According to the World Health Organisation, malaria prevalence has decreased from 12.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Key to this success has been an aggressive mosquito net distribution program. Approximately 82 per cent of households now own at least one net.
More cases of tuberculosis are being treated than before and case detection of the disease has risen to 89 per cent in 2013 from 61 per cent in 2010.
“The new grants build on the success of the previous Global Fund grant programs. We look forward to further reduction in the incidence of malaria, and to an acceleration of the campaign against TB, which is now a very serious public health issue in Papua New Guinea,” Lady Morauta said.
Pacific Friends of Global Health today warmly welcomed the Australian government’s commitment of $250 million over the period 2016-2020 to support the critical work of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, announced today at the GAVI Replenishment Conference being held in Berlin under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The outgoing Chair of Pacific Friends, Ms Wendy McCarthy AO, congratulated the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on her commitment to ensuring that Australia will continue to play its fair share in providing life-saving vaccines to children in the world’s poorest countries.
“Vaccination and immunisation programs provided with GAVI support have saved the lives of millions of children over the past decade, around the world and especially in the Indo-Pacific region”, said Ms McCarthy.
“This is not only an investment in better health for these children and their families but an important building block in creating economic prosperity, stability and security in many fragile regions and states.”
“Investments in vaccination and reducing the scourges of existing diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and emerging threats such as Ebola, are compelling reasons for Australia to maintain and increase our current level of investment in development assistance”, said Ms McCarthy.
|11 December 2014
Sex worker in a brothel in Quito, Ecuador. (The Global Fund / Ivan Kashinsky)
Elena Reynaga found her vocation as a champion of sex worker rights in the darkest hours of Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s, when thousands were abducted on city streets. As a sex worker, she was detained by the police in Buenos Aires, and subjected to a mock execution, which was terrifying. “We came into being as a movement by way of a reaction to the political repression of those years,” said Reynaga. She considers herself lucky to be alive. “There were girls who simply disappeared without trace. Nobody spoke out for them. After all, who was ever going to defend common prostitutes?”
Reynaga is not a typical activist. She learned to read when she was 48. She became an effective speaker when she founded a union for sex workers in Argentina in 1994. It encourages sex workers to set up cooperatives and to lobby for recognition. Today she is the Executive Secretary of RedTraSex, a network of sex workers in Latin America and the Caribbean that campaigns for formal recognition of sex work. The network is a Principal Recipient of a regional Global Fund grant for HIV prevention. “Sex work is not criminalized in Latin America, but it’s not allowed either. We have a legal vacuum that allows the police to target and harass sex workers,” she said.
Reynaga defends sex work and points out that she raised two children and paid for their education with her earnings. She criticizes campaigners who call for abolishing sex work, and believes that making it illegal would drive it underground and expose sex workers to even more abuse than they face now. A fully legalized sex trade, she argues, will instead bring sex workers out of the shadows and make health services more easily accessible to them, reducing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. “As work conditions improve for sex workers, HIV prevalence will decline,” she says with certainty.
Signs of hope and danger persist. Reynaga sees Uruguay as a model of tolerance in Latin America, where sex workers can qualify for state pensions. At the other extreme, a wave of murders in Central America, especially in Honduras and El Salvador, where gangs target sex workers. In her native Argentina, the old round-ups are in the distant past. This year, Reynaga received an outstanding achievement award from Argentina’s Senate.
In global health, where diseases constantly change, responses are changing too. One way to try to steer change in a positive direction is to build evaluation and feedback into regular work. When our new funding model was designed, it intentionally included a number of tools to collect feedback. One of the most important is the Technical Review Panel’s review form, to provide a summary of the panel’s recommendations for each individual concept note. It includes highlights of a concept note, strong elements of the proposed programs, areas of weakness and specific recommendations.
The review form is primarily intended for each Country Coordinating Mechanism. But it also serves to inform the Global Fund’s country team of possible obstacles or issues, or to point out areas where technical cooperation is needed. In addition to the forms for individual concept notes which are sent directly to an applicant, the Technical Review Panel issues reports summarizing findings. Based on the technical analysis of proposals, the panel points to specific observations and insights, general and disease-specific. One goal is to help countries improve the concept notes they will submit in the future. Another goal is to highlight broader issues across the grant portfolio. Posted online, the report is also shared with the Country Coordinating Mechanisms, the Secretariat, technical partners and anyone wishing to tap in.
In parallel, the Global Fund’s Access to Funding Department also reports on outcomes, positive trends and areas of improvement identified during concept note review, with statistics and feedback on the process and case studies on notable programs.
Surveys are an important tool for this analysis. After the submission of a concept note, members of the Country Coordinating Mechanism and others who participated in country dialogue are invited to take part in an online survey to assess their views on the quality of their country dialogue and concept note development. The responses inform the Global Fund about weaknesses and problems, so getting that information is highly appreciated. Anyone who took part in country dialogue, and can find the time for a survey, is encouraged to contribute.
One key issue this year is gender. Many countries report difficulty integrating gender issues as part of a national health plan. A recent analysis of the first 20 concept notes received by the Global Fund revealed gaps not only at the planning level but also in terms of providing resources to support programming that can shift views on gender. This tool can be useful in helping country teams to understand gender issues and how to work with respective countries to address them. It is also useful in highlighting where more information needs to be made available, and perhaps also where technical support can be useful.
Global health is facing a changing landscape full of opportunity and challenge. Today, 70 percent of the world’s poor live in middle-income countries and an increasing number of countries are transitioning from low-income to middle-income status. On disease burden, 66 percent, 76 percent and 54 percent of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, respectively, are now in middle-income countries. Within some countries and regions, HIV and tuberculosis are concentrated in specific locations and among key populations where domestic funding is limited. And while certain countries and regions are making remarkable progress against diseases, others, particularly conflict-afflicted states, are falling behind. This changing landscape calls for a tailored Global Fund approach.
To begin this work, the Global Fund has convened a working group that brings together experts and communities from a range of backgrounds, disciplines and organizations to explore how to engage with changing country contexts and the evolving development landscape. The Development Continuum working group first met in October 2014, and is charged with establishing key facts about the changing development landscape, highlighting implications for the Global Fund partnership, and making recommendations to the Secretariat. Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health in Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, chairs the group which will report its recommendations to the Board of the Global Fund in March 2015. These recommendations are an important input into the upcoming 2015 consultations on the 2017-2021 Global Fund Strategy.
That strategy is expected to reflect a differentiated approach to health investment for countries across the development continuum. “As we understand the continuum better, we can better understand how our partnership can support countries as they progress along the continuum,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “If we don’t engage people from the countries in the thinking and, in fact, to set the direction, we will be overtaken by events beyond our control. From an understanding of what countries want and need, we can then explore how the Global Fund can best serve them.”
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.