Other news related to the Global Fund and global health

8. OF INTEREST
19 Mar 2019
Civil society’s pivotal role, ‘Global Health Governance’ book review, tips for advocates facing PEPFAR cuts

Here are a few recent news and media items, of relevance to the Global Fund partnership:

Friends of the Global Fight has published an ‘issue brief’ called ‘Backing Civil Society to End the AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria epidemics’. The issue brief highlights the pivotal role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria played by civil society – all those stakeholders who are neither government bodies nor private sector enterprises, such as NGOs, advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations. “Given the local, national and international knowledge and expertise that civil society groups bring to the table,” Friends’ news release on the issue brief says, “their engagement in decision-making helps Global Fund programs be more effective and responsive to global health needs.” The full issue brief is downloadable as a PDF.

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The Governance of Global Health: What needs to change is a book by Devi Sridhar and Chelsea Clinton, looking at the power dynamics in the global health ecosystem. A blog on the Save the Children website by Samy Ahmar calls it “a new, deep and important insight into the world of global health, how power is distributed within it, and why some issues receive lots of funding while others don’t”. The book looks at the evolving roles of four major international organizations: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Health Organization, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Bank.

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In the face of several countries funded by PEPFAR facing funding cuts to their 2019 Country Operating Plans (COPs), advocacy organization MPact has published a blog entitled ‘2019 U.S. PEPFAR COP Reviews: 10 Tips for Advocates’. MPact reports that funding cuts are in many cases “in response to poor performance or an inability to reach performance indicators” set by the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator. The blog outlines some of the “persistent structural challenges” undermining countries’ HIV responses, why some U.S. policies on sexual health and harm reduction “also undermine countries’ efforts to reach the right people, in the right places, at the right time,” how the U.S. has taken “a narrow approach to setting performance indicators,” and how the proposed funding cuts are happening on the heels of PEPFAR’s announcing $100 million in new funding for faith-based organizations.

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In the wake of United States President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 in which he outlines deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund, the New York Times has published an article describing some of the challenges the administration faces in its purported attempt to end AIDS in the U.S. within the next 10 years – and what this means on the ground in the southern state of Mississipi. 

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