September 23, 2010
To International Community & Global Leaders:
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) was established in 2001 to accelerate the responses to the public health and human rights crises caused by HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria in developing countries around the world.
Less than 10 years later, the Global Fund has saved more than 4.9 million lives; and every day, a further 3600 deaths are prevented. These outcomes are unprecedented and have been achieved through investment in programmes that have provided 2.5 million people with treatment for HIV and AIDS, treated 6 million people through live-saving drugs for TB, and distributed 104 million bed nets for malaria.
The Global Fund has proven itself as an innovative, efficient and cost-effective global health financing mechanism. In the short time since its inception, it has committed USD19.3 billion to programmes in 144 countries to support large-scale prevention, treatment, care and support services for HIV, TB and malaria.
Providing for governments and donors a common pool for investment, the Global Fund continues to set international benchmarks for funding coordination, accountability and predictability.
The Global Fund has been critical in realising progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 & 6 by supporting initiatives that treat HIV-positive women; prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; and reduced malaria-related deaths in children under years 5 of age.
This is a pivotal moment in time for the Global Fund and for the global community. If adequately resourced, the Global Fund can eliminate malaria in endemic areas, prevent millions of new HIV infections, virtually eliminate the transmission of HIV from a mother to her child, and achieve significant declines in TB prevalence and mortality by 2015.
The Third Voluntary Replenishment Meeting of the Global Fund will be held in New York (USA) on the 4th and 5th October 2010. Governments and donors will come together at this meeting to not only signal their commitment towards the Global Fund, but also to the millions of people affected and infected by HIV, TB and Malaria around the world.
The replenishment must raise at least USD20 billion if the extraordinary gains made by the Global Fund over the past decade are to be sustained and accelerated. While many may argue that USD20 billion is a huge sum in these 'resource constrained' times, it is a reasonable investment which will continue to pay substantial dividends over many years, when compared to the USD700 billion deployed overnight to bail out Wall Street banks during the financial meltdown.
Contributing to the success of the Global Fund is its commitment to the core principles of demand-driven, country-owned responses. Some international donors have pre-empted the outcome of the Third Voluntary Replenishment, and have begun calling for caps on the amount of funding to be made available for each round. This would be a disastrous consequence, going against the very basic foundation of which the Global Fund was established upon, and would leave countries and communities without the resources identified as necessary to effectively respond to HIV, TB and Malaria.
In signing this letter, we demonstrate our support for the Global Fund and demand that governments commit to the health of communities across the world by increasing their financial contribution to the Global Fund and raising the USD20 billion at the Third Voluntary Replenishment.