'Great mistake' to let Global Fund fail

Just what will happen if the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria folds up?

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health and chairman of the department of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the question should not be “whether the Global Fund works, but how to ensure it keeps working.”

Farmer made several points on why the Global Fund needs to keep going. He said the funding agency is needed in this age and time when millions of poor people continue to die of preventable and treatable diseases. He also said the fund’s work has “spillover effects” to other health priorities, including programs that raise standards of care for other diseases such as cancer.

The Global Fund has also proven how much multilateral organizations can accomplish with their donations. And Farmer said it would be a “great mistake” to let it fail — just because “we need to get our own fiscal house in order.”

“Simply put, if we allow the fund to fail, many people will die, and we will forfeit the chance at the ‘AIDS-free generation’ that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for in November,” he said.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.