UK pledges £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) to Global Fund for 2020-2022
Advocates for the Global Fund had their spirits lifted (at least, according to Devex) when the United Kingdom pledged £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) on June 29 to the Global Fund’s 6th Replenishment, for the upcoming three-year period, 2020-2022. This pledge represents an increase of 16% over the UK’s contribution for the current three-year period. Former Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, where the first joint meeting of G20 finance and health ministers took place, and encouraged other leaders also to increase their contributions to the Fund. (Japan had announced its pledge of $850 million, a 5% increase, the previous week). The focus of the joint ministers’ meeting was sustainable health financing in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage. Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands called the 16% increase in the UK’s pledge “a tremendous show of leadership”.
UNAIDS and the Global Fund sign strategic framework on support to countries
On 27 June, the Global Fund and UNAIDS signed a strategic framework for “cooperation and collaboration to strengthen and accelerate support to countries’ efforts to end AIDS”. Needless to say the Fund and UNAIDS’ collaboration has been extensive and long-standing, and is outlined in this framework, along with specific areas for “enhanced cooperation to help focus efforts and resources where they are needed most”. These areas include HIV prevention and treatment access, community-led service delivery, gender, rights and community engagement, and a particular focus on accelerating progress in West and Central Africa (a region that contains 11 out of the Global Fund’s 22 designated ‘challenging operating environments’ globally – see article in GFO 359).
Global Fund’s July Replenishment Partner Update
The Global Fund’s monthly update to partners on Replenishment-related news was sent out on July 3, at the 100-days-before-Replenishment mark, recapping news of the past month (much of which the GFO has been able to report in previous issues). The update leads with the United Kingdom’s £1.4 billion pledge, Japan’s increased-by-5% pledge, G20 leaders showing support to end the three diseases at their Osaka meeting, and Sir Elton John and President Emmanuel Macron of France making a high-profile call for the Global Fund’s Replenishment goal of ‘at least’ $14 billion. After the ‘news’ section, the update features the story of South African doctor Zolelwa Sifumba, a survivor of multi-drug-resistant TB, as the first person to be featured in the Fund’s new photo and video series called ‘Faces of the Fight’. Then, along with the usual resources, videos, blogs, and toolkits the update offers every month to readers, is a good list of related reading in multiple languages from around the world.
WHO and France collaborate on ‘vision’ for the WHO Academy
The establishment of the World Health Organizations’ Academy – an institution for lifelong learning about health – is no small thing, and deserves a lot more fanfare. No doubt this will come when the Academy becomes a concrete proposition, but for now, we celebrate one of its first steps, as WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and French President Emmanuel Macron signed, on 11 June, a declaration of intent to establish the academy. The WHO press release states that the Academy “aims to reach millions of people with innovative learning via a state-of-the-art digital learning experience platform at a campus in Lyon and embedded in the six WHO regions”. It will also bring together – along with various high-tech learning environments – “adult learning science, behavioural science and cutting-edge learning technologies … with WHO’s norms, standards and evidence to deliver high-impact accredited and tailored multilingual learning to meet diverse needs.” The Academy will be open to “a wide range of multisectoral stakeholders that can influence health, including leaders, educators, researchers, health workers, WHO staff and the broader public”.