Global Fund in three-pronged approach to resource mobilization
Japan has volunteered to host a pre-meeting for the Global Fund's 5th replenishment conference, kicking off the major resource mobilization effort in December 2015 ahead of the official launch of replenishment in mid-2016.
While it is expected that the bulk of the funds needed for the fight against the three diseases will come from the usual complement of donors, new efforts are being made to channel resources from other sources, including high net-worth individuals in implementing countries. Equally, the Secretariat presentation during the 33rd Board meeting on 1 April emphasized, maximizing domestic investments even beyond the willingness to pay requirements built into all of the grant agreements, remains a top priority.
The Global Fund raised some $12 billion during the 4th replenishment conference held in December 2013, short of its $15 billion goal but more than had ever been contributed to the Fund in a replenishment period. Since then, according to the Secretariat's presentation, an additional $172 million has come in, $130 from public donors and $42 million from partners in the private and charity sectors. Other opportunities are being explored with private sector contributors.
Engagement with high net-worth individuals in implementing countries has yielded interesting potential, the Secretariat said, to support programs from their home countries that have been listed in the register of unfunded quality demand. Currently nearly $2 billion in such programs -- ranging from a mass distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Indonesia to behavior change programs for children and adolescents around TB and HIV in Mozambique -- has been recorded.
Thus far, $40 million has been committed from Indonesia's Tahir Foundation and another $15 million from the Tata Foundation in India. There have, however, been challenges in channelling the money, due to administrative issues that may require the money to come through the Fund's accounts in Switzerland before being returned to their respective countries: a challenge that underscores the timely need for the Fund to address the issue of privileges and immunities and develop its own network of accounts with commercial banks.
Unexplored potential for further partnership may also come from the ongoing but not fully realized Debt2Health initiative, which channels resources in developing countries that would normally be used to service debt repayments into health sector investments that have been identified by the Global Fund.
Still, the greatest untapped resource for more investment in health services, activities and commodities remains implementing countries themselves. While there are requirements across the portfolio for domestic resource commitments, the Fund is working with seven nations it has identified as priority countries-- Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and Tanzania -- to explore how to leverage even more money. The phased approach begins with extracting the initial commitments to domestic financing (the WTP provisions that hold back 15% of grant funds until governments contribute their share). This is followed by collaborative work with partners -- both local and international -- to promote more innovative fundraising to support costed activities aligned with national strategic plans, and, finally, wider advocacy to harness the power of regional initiatives that can work at the national and regional level to bring more financial support to bear on the disease response.
One constituency noted that collaborations with wider initiatives such as the World Health Organization's Partnership for MNCH might be worth exploring for greater opportunities to participate in, and have access to, a wider resource pool.