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GFO Issue 418




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Many donors met the Investment Case’s request for a 30% increase on previous pledging levels

ABSTRACT According to the Global Fund, by the end of the Seventh Replenishment Pledging Conference in New York yesterday, the organization had received a record number of pledges at $14.25 billion. The full amount required of $18 billion is likely to be met, as some pledges are expected to come in after the Conference. However, pledges from some key European donors were conspicuously absent.

Yesterday donors pledged $ 14.25 billion to support efforts to end the three pandemics of HIV, TB and malaria: with more funding yet to come. Donors made their commitments at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference hosted by the President of the United States Joe Biden.

The Conference was held following the UN General Assembly meeting. It had been slightly delayed owing to the death of Queen Elizabeth II as so many world leaders and dignitaries, including Joe Biden, had first to attend her state funeral held in London on Monday 19 September. Nonetheless, more than 45 countries including 18 Heads of State and Government, multilateral partners, private sector companies and civil society and community organizations came together in New York to manifest their commitment to ending the three diseases. The Global Fund says “This support aims to save 20 million lives, avert 450 million new infections, and bring new hope for ending AIDS, TB and malaria. This investment will also strengthen health and community systems to leave no one behind and be resilient to future shocks”.

On a slightly sour note, however, neither the UK nor Italy committed to pledge.

A long campaign that began in Kenya

The Seventh Replenishment campaign was first launched in February this year, as we reported on in our article Increase funding or abandon hope of ending malaria, TB and AIDSThe Preparatory Meeting was co-hosted by five African Presidents: President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. As the Global Fund notes, all five countries have a long history of being strategic partners of the Global Fund, as both implementers and donors. At that two-day meeting, the Global Fund’s Investment Case was also launched.

In the period since the launch of the Campaign, culminating in yesterday’s Pledging Conference, Global Fund stakeholders and supporters have been actively working to ensure that countries committed to pledge.

In particular, the Global Fund Advocates Network has been instrumental in advocating for support, bringing together 55 countries for a Global Week of Action in March this year (Global week of action in support of the Seventh Replenishment).

Crunching the numbers

Earlier this year, as reported by the GFO (President Biden pledges for the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment), the United States committed a contribution of $6 billion over the next three years, a 30% increase over the last Replenishment, in line with the Global Fund Investment Case.

Several other long-term public donors increased their pledges by 30%: Canada pledged $1.21 billion; the European Commission pledged $715 million; the Federal Republic of Germany pledged €1.3 billion; Spain pledged €130 million; and Japan pledged up to $1.08 billion. France also significantly increased its pledge to nearly $1.6 billion. Several partners increased their commitments by more than 30% on their Sixth Replenishment pledges. Perhaps the most notable of these is the Republic of Korea who showed outstanding support by quadrupling their pledge from $25 million to $100 million. Many more donors also increased their pledges by 30%.

The Global Fund was also successful in expanding its donor base. In this Seventh Replenishment, eight new and returning donors pledged: Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Malawi, Morocco,  Paraguay, and Tanzania.

However, the United Kingdom, currently the Global Fund’s third largest donor, failed to pledge; and so did Italy. Both countries restated their support for the crucial work of the Global Fund and committed to pledge in the coming weeks. In the Sixth Replenishment they pledged $1.7 billion and $178 million, respectively. Perhaps their failure to commit is due to the fact that Italy is in the throes of changing government and the UK has just recently done so barely two weeks previously. Moreover, only yesterday the UK committed to a multi-billion dollar bale out for business in the face of the economic recession: money that has to be borrowed and repaid by the taxpayers. Not surprising therefore, if hugely disappointing, that it baulked at extending the public deficit.

Yet financial hardship is a worldwide phenomenon and the UK has similar inflation rates to other countries that did commit amid their own steadily increasing rates. Kenya, for example, managed to increase its pledge by two-thirds from $6 million to $10 million even with its rising inflation rate of 8.5% (August 2022)

Private sector support increased

Over $1.23 billion was raised from private donors, reaching a new record of private sector funding to the Global Fund. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation paved the way with a 20% increase, joined by another 19 organizations and long-standing partners such as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as new and returning ones such as Johnson & Johnson and Anglo American.

The Global Fund notes that this total amount is unprecedented, adding “Along with further support from vital non-financial resources and innovative finance co-investment commitments, this extraordinary level of support is a true demonstration of the power of partnership”.

Pledges from Africa

Most African nations are recipients of Global Fund grants, receiving 73% of total Global Fund investments. However, several also made contributions during this year’s replenishment fundraising to show solidarity. While these contributions do not represent a large share of the Fund’s budget, they are an important demonstration of leadership and commitment to the Fund. Among the 20 implementing partners who pledged, 18 are from Africa: a truly astonishing show of support and even more so given the global climate of economic recession, war in Ukraine and food shortages.

It was sad not to have Africa not represented in the group photograph at the end of the Conference even though some African Heads of State were present when it was taken.

The full list of donors and pledges is posted here on the Global Fund website.

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