France will host the conference for the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment
Last May, the Global Fund announced that France will host the Fund’s replenishment conference in 2019. The conference is the formal platform for donors to announce their pledges for the Sixth Replenishment, which covers the period 2020–2022. This is the first time that France will host a Global Fund replenishment conference.
“As one of the founding partners of the Global Fund, France is demonstrating great leadership and sustained commitment in global health,” said Peter Sands, the Fund’s executive director. “We are extremely grateful to President Macron for leading efforts to renew and expand our impact, to the benefit of millions of people.”
A date for the conference has not yet been set. A spokesperson for the Global Fund Secretariat told Aidspan that it would likely be in Autumn 2019.
The last replenishment conference –– for the Fifth Replenishment, covering the period 2017–2019 –– was held in September 2016 in Montreal, Canada. By the end of that conference, $12.9 billion had been raised. Since then, the Global Fund has received additional commitments of £100 million from the U.K. plus a matching contribution of £50 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The U.K. pledge, which is part of an undertaking by the U.K. to spend £500 million a year until 2021 to tackle malaria, brings to £1.2 billion the amount the U.K. has committed for the Fifth Replenishment. The pledge from the Gates Foundation means that the foundation has now committed $665 million for the Fifth Replenishment.
Following the Fifth Replenishment conference, the Global Fund also received pledges from Liechtenstein (100,000 Swiss francs); Portugal (€112,000); Uganda ($1.5 million) –– as well as Debt2Health (two initiatives, denominated in different currencies: €13.8 million and $3.2 million).
(The Global Fund records pledges in the currencies in which they are made [“source currencies”]. The Fund’s pledges and contributions spreadsheet can be downloaded here. The spreadsheet is updated periodically; the latest one is dated 18 June 2018. The Fund also converts all pledges to U.S. dollars at the spot rate in effect when the pledges are received. The pledges and contributions spreadsheet shows the pledges for 2017–2019 in their source currencies only; it does not show the U.S. dollar equivalents. This explains why we have used several different currencies in this article.)
France pledged €1.08 billion for the Fifth Replenishment. This was the third-largest pledge, behind the U.S. and the U.K. In terms of cumulative pledges since the Fund was launched in 2002, France is the second-largest donor after the U.S., having committed more than €4.2 billion.
The Global Fund Secretariat has informed Aidspan that the Sixth Replenishment will follow a schedule similar to the one used for the Fifth Replenishment. The replenishment campaign will be formally launched at a Preparatory Replenishment meeting which is expected to be held in the first quarter of 2019 (site to be announced). The replenishment target will be revealed at that time or shortly thereafter.
At the 22nd International AIDS Conference, held on 23–27 July 2018 in Amsterdam, it was noted that donor funding for HIV has been declining since 2012 (development assistance for HIV dropped $3 billion, Devex reported); and that the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment will be a decisive moment for the near-term future of AIDS funding (see GFO article).
New Head of External Relations
Within the Global Fund Secretariat, the responsibility for coordinating replenishment efforts lies with the External Relations division. The longtime head of the division, Christoph Benn, officially left that position in June 2018 (though he is remaining on staff for a few months as a senior advisor). The new head of External Relations, Françoise Vanni, is scheduled to take up her position on 3 September.
In a news release, the Fund said that Vanni has more than 20 years of leadership experience in resource mobilization and advocacy, most recently as Director of External Relations and Communications for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Middle East, where she oversaw a broad portfolio that included dozens of institutional and private donors. Vanni’s career has included stints as country representative in Angola and Cuba for Médecins du Monde; executive director of Agir Ici, an NGO in France which she transformed into Oxfam France; communications chief for UNICEF in Mexico; and campaigns and policy director for Oxfam Great Britain.
Resource Mobilization Action Plan
The Secretariat submitted a costed Resource Mobilization Action Plan 2018–2019 to the Audit and Finance Committee (AFC) in early July; the plan was reviewed by the AFC that same month.
The Secretariat provided the Board with a Resource Mobilization Update at its May meeting. The following are some of the highlights from the update:
- Spain has not pledged since the Third Replenishment in 2008–2010. At the Fifth Replenishment conference in Montreal in 2016, Spain indicated that it planned to announce its pledge “at a later date” (see GFO article). Parliament was presented with a proposal to contribute € 100 million, but the crisis in Catalonia has (hopefully temporarily) sidelined the proposal. The Secretariat believes that the recent signing of Debt2Health agreements involving Spain signals continued interest in the Global Fund and a willingness to engage.
- Discussions continue with four emerging economies in Latin America –– Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Chile. The primary objective is to secure ongoing engagement and broad political support for the Global Fund and its mission. This could translate into financial contributions in the medium- to longer term.
- The Secretariat has adopted a new engagement strategy for China. The approach is structured around three pillars: (1) seeking synergies with China’s international development strategy, including its Belt and Road Initiative; (2) setting up tripartite cooperation among the Global Fund, China, and African or Asian implementing countries (e.g. co-investment in providing technical assistance); and (3) promoting frequent communications at different levels, including engaging with the private sector.
- Three new Debt2Health swaps are being negotiated (Germany –– El Salvador; Germany –– Papua New Guinea; and Spain –– Guinea Bissau).
The Global Fund Secretariat is currently developing an Investment Case document for the Sixth Replenishment. As in past replenishments, the document will estimate the investment needs for the three diseases. The Investment Case is expected to be completed in January 2019, prior to the Preparatory Replenishment meeting.
This is the first of a series of articles GFO will carry in the run-up to the replenishment conference in late 2019. The Resource Mobilization Update is available here (look for Document GF/B39/24).