On 24 January, Germany announced that it was pledging an additional €600 million to the Global Fund – €200 million a year for each of 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Germany has been pledging (and contributing) €200 million a year to the Global Fund since 2008. (The pledge for 2013, made in 2010, is expected to be converted into a contribution later in 2013.)
The year 2014 marks the beginning of the Global Fund’s next three-year replenishment period. Later in 2013, the Global Fund will host a replenishment conference where donors can announce their pledges for the period 2014–2016.
The announcement of Germany’s pledge was made on 24 January by Dirk Niebel, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The news conference was also attended by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
"We need to continue to devote hard work and determined efforts to halting the spread of HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases,” said Mr Niebel. “We are close to turning the tide. I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of AIDS. This is an achievement, not least, of the Global Fund, which recently undertook reforms."
The announcement from Germany was good news for the Global Fund for two reasons. First, it signalled that Germany is pleased with changes implemented by the Fund. Second, because the announcement comes several months ahead of the replenishment conference, it helps to generate momentum.
“This commitment is a tremendous milestone,” said Dr Dybul, who became Executive Director of the Global Fund on 21 January. “It means health workers and the people they serve in countries like Ethiopia, Myanmar and Haiti can make a huge difference. Everyone is grateful to Germany for its generosity and for its recognition that investing in global health benefits us all.”
However, many NGOs, both inside and outside Germany, were not pleased with the announcement. They are concerned that Germany’s contribution has been flatlined at €200 million a year since 2008 despite the fact that needs are increasing. German NGOs are asking their government to double the current contribution.
NGOs point out that Germany, like other donors, committed at the UN in June 2011 to the target of doubling by 2015 the number of persons living with HIV who receive treatment.
The Global Fund itself said in the news release announcing the contribution that the “demand for funding is likely to outstrip the impressive commitment made today. The Global Fund will continue to seek additional sources of funding, and to explain the need for more contributions from wealthy donor nations and the private sector.”
For the period 2011–2013, Germany was the fourth largest pledger to the Global Fund, behind the US, France and the UK. (See the Aidspan publication, “Donors to the Global Fund: Who Gives How Much?”).
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 28 January 2013 to revise the lead and to incorporate some additional information.