Global Fund on $15B target: 'Ambitious' but 'reachable'

By Jenny Lei Ravelo 10 April 2013

A view of the conference held for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on April 9. Photo by: European Union

Today in Brussels, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria concluded a two-day conference where it tried to make the case for the $15 billion it aims to raise in a replenishment meeting late 2013.

The organization provided donors with a “detailed explanation” of its 2014-2016 funding needs on the second day of the conference, Global Fund head of communications Seth Faison told Devex.

It followed a myriad of presentations on Tuesday focused on recent scientific advances and implementation innovations in the fight against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

Wednesday’s discussions hoped to give donors a “better understanding” of the needs, including the potential successes the $15 billion contribution could achieve in the fight against the three diseases, Faison explained.

Although donors were not expected to make pledges at this meeting, EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs had already committed to doing his “best” in maintaining the current level of support for the organization, about €100 million ($130.5 million) a year.

The European Commission pledged €330 million for 2011-2013.

“Naturally we would all like to see an increase in the EU’s development budget. But even if we have to live with a lower budget than expected, we are aware of the huge benefits the Global Fund brings and I can assure you here and now that it will remain an important instrument for the EU in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in poor countries,” Piebalgs said in a speech on Tuesday.

Piebalgs also highlighted the need to expand the fund’s current donor base by calling on the private sector and emerging donors to boost their contributions.

Meanwhile other donors, such as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, have “signaled their strong enthusiasm for the Global Fund’s new strategy of investing for impact,” Faison suggested.

How all the presentations and past-year reforms will figure in donors’ decisions later this year remains to be seen, though Faison noted the meeting’s atmosphere has been “distinctively upbeat.”

The Global Fund is confident in reaching the $15 billion mark, which is almost a 50 percent increase from the pledges made for 2011-2013.

“We are being ambitious, and we will do absolutely everything we can to reach our $15 billion goal. It is reachable,” Faison said.

Global Fund advocates however argue that donors should give even more than $15 billion in order to fill funding gaps that could result from too “ambitious” and “optimistic” Global Fund projections on domestic investments and funding from other sources.

“The assumed level of domestic funding described in the Needs Assessment paper is extremely ambitious and suggests that domestic funding will outpace recent trends for investment as well as projected growth in general government expenditure,” the Global Fund Advocates Network said in a position paper published on Sunday.

Assumptions on funding from other streams was also “very optimistic, considering the fact that some donors are freezing or even cutting their development aid budgets,” the report added.

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About the author

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Jenny Lei Ravelo@JennyLeiRavelo

Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.

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