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Anna Maalsen

Article Type:

Article Number: 4

African civil society keeps the pressure on the Netherlands Government

ABSTRACT The Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment conference is one month away. Invitations have gone out. Advocacy efforts continue.

The Global Fund’s Head of Donor Relations, Jennifer Goosen, has sent out formal “save-the-date” notifications for the Fund’s Fifth Replenishment conference to be held on 16-17 September in Montreal, Canada.

The simple notification informs invited participants of the conference aim to “bring together global leaders and call upon governments, the private sector and civil society to unite behind this important cause and mobilize $13 billion to end HIV, TB, and malaria as epidemics by 2030.” The save-the-date notifications also bears the replenishment’s slogan “AIDS, TB and Malaria. End It. For Good.”

Whilst it is not yet known precisely who will be attending the event, the Global Fund expects that high-level Ministerial delegates from both donor and recipient countries will be present. U.S. President Obama is expected to attend. It will probably be his last formal Global Fund engagement as President. The U.K.’s new Minister of State, Boris Johnson, may be another high-level delegate attending. Other high-profile private donors such as Bill and Melinda Gates, and (RED) co-founders Bono and Bobby Shiver are also likely to attend.

Pledges: Current and recent

With $3.5 billion in pledges announced to date, the Fund is $9.5 billion short of its target.  Historically most donors make their pledges at the conference. See the table for details of the pledges for 2014-2016 and the pledges to date for 2017-2019.

Table: Global Fund Replenishment pledges 2017-2019 vs. 2014-2016 ($million)

  2017-2019 (to date) 2014-2016
Donor In local currency In U.S. dollars
(at time of pledge)
In local currency In U.S. dollars
(at time of pledge)
Australia NYA NYA $ 200.0 m $182.0 m
Belgium NYA NYA 38.0 m 51.6 m
Canada 785.0 m 596.6 m 650.0 m 612.3 m
China NYA NYA n/a 15.0 m
Denmark NYA NYA 495.0 m 90.2 m
Euro. Comm. 470.0 526.4 m 370.0 m 502.9 m
France 1,080.0 m 1,370.0 m 1,080.0 m 1,467.8 m
Germany NYA NYA 600.0 m 815.0 m
India NYA NYA n/a 13.5 m
Ireland NYA NYA 30.0 m 40.8 m
Italy 130.0 m 164.9 m 100.0 135.9 m
Japan n/a 800.0 m n/a 800.0
Kenya NYA NYA n/a 2.0 m
Korea NYA NYA n/a 12.0 m
Kuwait NYA NYA n/a 1.5 m
Liechtenstein NYA NYA 0.2 m 0.2 m
Luxembourg 8.1 m 9.1 m 7.5 m 10.2 m
Malawi NYA NYA n/a 0.5 m
Netherlands NYA NYA 185.0 m 251.4 m
Nigeria NYA NYA n/a 30.0 m
Norway NYA NYA 1,700.0 m 277.4 m
New Zealand 1.0 m 0.7 m NIL NIL
Saudi Arabia NYA NYA n/a 25.0 m
Sweden NYA NYA 2,500.0  m 380.8 m
Thailand NYA NYA n/a 4.5m
United Kingdom NYA NYA 1,000.0 m 1,636.9 m
United States NYA NYA 4.002.3 4,002.3 m
Gates Found. NYA NYA n/a 500.0 m
Chevron NYA NYA n/a 5.0 m
BHP Billiton NYA NYA n/a 10.0 m
Ecobank NYA NYA n/a 3.0 m
(RED) NYA NYA n/a 40.0 m
Takeda Pharma. NYA NYA n/a 3.0 m
Vale NYA NYA n/a 3.0 m
U. M. Church NYA NYA n/a 19.9 m
Tahir Found. NYA NYA n/a 39.0 m
Other NYA NYA n/a 5.0 m
TOTALS $3,467.7 m $12,006.9 m

NYA = not yet announced

n/a = not applicable (paid in US dollars)

Sources: Global Fund Advocates Network (2017-2019 figures); Global Fund website (2014-2016 figures)

Note: When we add the figures in the last column, we get $12,030,100, a difference of $23,200 compared to the $12,006,900 shown in the table.

High hopes will again be placed on the U.S. and its pledge. When the U.S. hosted the Fourth Replenishment Conference in 2013, it pledged to match $1 for every $2 that other donors contributed to the Global Fund, ultimately pledging $4.1 billion. The U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heywood, said at the time of the announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concerning Canada’s decision to host the replenishment conference that the U.S. was “again planning a robust contribution, and we urge all donors to increase their commitments to the Global Fund.”

The Fourth Replenishment in 2013 yielded pledges of $12,006,900, almost $1 million short of its $13 billion goal.

Advocacy efforts

Meanwhile advocacy efforts continue. In the first week of August, the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) Africa, the Africa Civil Society Platform on Health, and their partners, sent a letter to the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, L. Ploumen, calling for a significant increase in the pledge for 2017-2019. The letter, which was signed by Rosemary Mburu, Executive Director of WACI Health, congratulated The Netherlands for their proven leadership in the fight against HIV, and sexual and reproductive health rights. The letter also outlined the progress made by the Global Fund in saving 17 million lives and preventing the spread of the three epidemics through its focused support to women and girls and key populations.

“As civil society representatives from Africa, we regard the Dutch government as one of our strongest supporters and allies in the fight against diseases on our continent and beyond,” Mburu said. Referring to the Netherlands as a long-time supporter of efforts in Africa and the efforts of the Global Fund, the letter called on the country to demonstrate its leadership by increasing its contribution to the Global Fund.

No official response to the letter has been received. However, confidence in the Global Fund is strong in the Netherlands given that the Fund received the highest score possible in five of the eight categories in the recent 2015 Multilateral Aid Report “scorecard” prepared by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Advocacy efforts will intensify over the coming weeks in the lead-up to the fifth replenishment conference.

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