The Global Fund’s replenishment campaign cranked up a notch in May with the announcement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan of a USD 800 million pledge to The Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment ahead of G7 Summit which was held on 26–27 May in Japan.
Japan’s pledge was part of a larger USD 1.1 billion package of new funding dedicated to five multi-lateral global health initiatives aimed at responding to infectious diseases, public health emergencies, and the achievement of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Whilst the USD 800 million is the same amount as pledged in the Fourth Replenishment campaign (see Aidspan’s Global Fund Pledges and Contribution table here), given current foreign exchange fluctuations, observers pointed to the fact that in terms of yen, the Japanese currency, the Fifth Replenishment pledge actually translates into a 46% increase over the pledge made in the Fourth Replenishment campaign.
Japanese civil society organizations welcomed the announcement, but urged the government to ensure that the unpaid commitment of USD 140 million from its Fourth Replenishment pledge is disbursed prior to the end of 2016 and remains separate from the new pledge. They also called for the new pledge to be paid in total during the 2017-2019 period.
Despite Japan’s announcement, and the priority that was placed on global health initiatives, such as The Global Fund, and their contribution to the overall sustainable development agenda as part of the G7 Leaders Summit, no new money was raised for these causes at the summit.
Japan’s pledge followed an announcement from Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, of a CAD 785 million pledge for the 2017-2019 period (see GFO article). When Canada’s Minister for International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, addressed the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland on 25 May, she invited world leaders to attend the Fifth Replenishment Conference in Montreal on 16 September 2016.
Minister Bibeau called for “continued collaboration and renewed commitment to end the HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria epidemics for good by 2030” and said that this can be done “through supporting the important work of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria…” She also made it clear that Canada would be giving its highest priority in its international assistance policy to the “protection and promotion of the health and rights of women and girls, especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
(Later in May, Canada announced an investment of CAD 85 million for the Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative.)
Back in April, New Zealand announced a NZ$ 1 million pledge for the Fifth Replenishment. This pledge comes after a long absence by New Zealand; its last contribution was made during the 2008-2010 replenishment period. It is a positive signal of support for The Global Fund by smaller donor countries. New Zealand’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Vangelis Vitalis, said, “Lifting the burden of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria helps build prosperity and security, both in the Pacific and around the world. New Zealand is pleased to play its part in the Global Fund partnership.”
High Level Meeting on HIV
This week, leaders of the global HIV response are gathering in New York for the High Level Meeting (HLM) on Ending AIDS from 8-10 June. Advocacy groups have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the push to fast track HIV investments includes a successful Fifth Replenishment for The Global Fund.
The Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) was scheduled to host a side meeting on 7 June, with the Director of External Relations of The Global Fund, Christoph Benn, to discuss the Fifth Replenishment and Global Fund–related advocacy at the HLM.
The Global Fund’s Executive Director, Mark Dybul will be also attending a special side event on “Ensuring a Sustainable HIV Response in Middle Income Countries” being hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and organized by Aids Fonds- STOP AIDS NOW!, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, STOPAIDS UK, the Open Society Foundations, and the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund.
ICASO has prepared a comprehensive list of how to get involved in the HLM here. In addition, GFAN has prepared a summary of the key activities related to GFAN or The Global Fund at the HLM. (Note if the link for the summary does not work, a copy of the summary is available from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
GFAN is supporting its partners Osservatorio AIDS and ACTION Italy through an open letter to letter to Italian PM Matteo Renzi requesting that Italy double its contribution to The Global Fund from € 100 million to € 200 million. Any organizations or individuals wishing to support this effort can access the sign-on letter here.
Finally, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is spearheading a “Fund the Fund” campaign through an online petition.