Australian Panel Calls for Significant Increase in Contributions to the Global Fund

5. NEWS
9 Aug 2011

Meanwhile, the Netherlands announces its pledge; Germany clarifies its conditions; and Italy is asked to reconfirm its commitment

An independent panel commissioned by the Australian government to review the country's aid programmes says that "Australia is generally favourably disposed towards the Global Fund" and that there is "a case for a substantial increase in core funding to the Global Fund given its strong focus on results."

The panel noted that the United Kingdom's multilateral review rated the Global Fund as being very good value for money, praising its focus on results and strong commitment to transparency. (See GFO article on the U.K. review.)

The panel noted that the Global Fund "has been criticised for not giving enough attention to strengthening health systems and is rectifying this, though more needs to be done."

In 2010, Australia announced a new three-year US$203 million commitment, a 55% increase on its previous three-year pledge.

The Global Fund's mid-term replenishment meeting will likely be held in Australia in March 2012. This is the meeting that takes place in the middle of each replenishment period, at which the Global Fund provides an update on its needs and what it has received, and donors sometimes agree to additional or modified pledges.

Related developments

Meanwhile...

... The Netherlands announced that it is pledging €163.5 million (US$232 million) to the Global Fund for 2011-2013. In US dollar terms, this is less than the previous three-year pledge from the Netherlands, and less than the Global Fund had been expecting. However, as the Global Fund noted in a press release, the latest pledge comes at a time when the Netherlands has reduced its overall budget for development assistance. The Netherlands is the tenth largest donor to the Global Fund, and has been among the most generous in terms of its contributions (as a percentage of gross national income). Since the Global Fund was created in 2002. the Netherlands has pledged more than €648 million, including this latest pledge.

... As reported in GFO 152, Germany has released the first half of its promised €200 million 2011 contribution to the Global Fund. Germany attached a condition to the release of the funds - namely, that the money is to be used only in countries where international organisations, such as the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), are responsible for implementing the programmes. The Global Fund said that it will work with Germany to clarify the conditions, but that the Fund is "bound by a basic principle that public donors cannot restrict their contributions to specific recipients."

... In Italy, the Italian Civil Society Forum on HIV/AIDS drafted an open letter to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, urging him to reconfirm "the Italian historical commitment to the Global Fund." The Italian Government has not yet disbursed its promised 2009 and 2010 contributions to the Global Fund, and has not yet announced any pledge for 2011-2013.

Information for this article was taken from the report "Independent Review of AIDS Effectiveness," Australian Government, April 2011; from "Stronger Poverty Focus an Encouraging Sign for Aid Increase," press release, Results International (Australia), 14 July 2011; from "Global Fund Welcomes the Netherland's Decision to Commit €163.5 Million," Global Fund, press release, 15 July 2011; from "Global Fund Welcomes Germany's Decision to Renew Funding," Bankkaufmann.com, online, 1 July 2011; from "Germany to Restore Half of Global Fund Donations Withheld Earlier This Year," NewsMedical, online, 6 July 2011; and from "Italy Fund the Global Fund," Aids Action Europe, online.

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