In this Financial Times opinion piece, journalist Andrew Jack examines how, “[a]fter a period of fast expansion, and strong progress in tackling AIDS, [tuberculosis (TB)] and malaria alike,” the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “has become a target in the era of austerity. With a shift in power between the world’s traditional and emerging economies, and donors seeking ways to cut support, billions of dollars and millions of lives are at stake.” Jack recaps a brief history of the Fund in the 10 years since its inception; highlights a number of ways in which the Fund has been distinctive from other organizations; and notes several issues that have led to calls for reform within the Fund.
Programs, Funding & Financing
In this Washington Post opinion piece, Tony Blair, former prime minister of Britain and founder of the Africa Governance Initiative, highlights South Korea’s transformation from aid recipient to aid donor over the past 50 years and writes that, as national and development leaders prepare to meet in the country this week for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, “The international goal must be to make sure many more countries are transformed.” Noting that development assistance has helped improve markers in areas such as health and education, Blair writes that transforming countries “will require building on the success of aid, broadening our thinking beyond aid to strengthen states and markets, and developing a new set of global relationships to tackle global issues” (11/25).
“This Thursday’s commemoration of World AIDS Day marks a potential turning point in the fight against a global epidemic that has yet to be arrested,” a Detroit Free Press editorial states. “Over the past three decades, scientific discoveries about [HIV] and advances in treating it have brought the end of the AIDS epidemic within view. Accomplishing that, however, will take political will, additional resources and even stronger leadership by the United States,” it continues.
The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria decided to cancel Round 11 grant approval during a two-day meeting in Accra, Ghana, that concluded on November 22. According to a press release from the Global Fund, the decision to cancel Round 11 was due to “a revised resource forecast presented to the Board [which] showed that substantial budget challenges in some donor countries, compounded by low interest rates, have significantly affected the resources available for new grant funding.”
Thousands of government and private aid officials will meet in Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday for the beginning of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which is “aimed at making sure billions of dollars in global aid money gets to the people who need it most,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (11/29). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend [the] summit in Busan, held against a backdrop of economic crisis in the United States and Europe and the rich world’s repeated failure to meet its targets for helping the poorest nations,” Reuters writes (Quinn, 11/28).
Speaking at the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF 4) in Busan, South Korea, “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that programs to help the world’s poor should be treated as national security priorities as economic turmoil leaves millions struggling to find work and food,” the Associated Press reports, adding, “Clinton, the first American secretary of state to participate in such an aid conference, said in a speech that development is as important as diplomacy and defense in creating a more peaceful world.” Clinton also made remarks at the forum’s Special Session on Gender, and the State Department provides a fact sheet related to her remarks. Inter Press Service examines how, as the HLF 4 “takes shape in Busan, one question is if women and children in Africa can expect any tangible results from the conference” (11/29).
President Barack Obama on Thursday renewed the U.S. commitment to ending HIV/AIDS in a speech marking World AIDS Day, and was joined by former presidents Bill Clinton, who participated by video, and George W. Bush, who spoke from Tanzania with that country’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, the Independent reports (Popham, 12/1). According to the Associated Press, Obama announced U.S. “goal[s] of getting antiretroviral drugs to two million more people around the world by the end of 2013,” bringing the total to six million people, and “to 1.5 million HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent them from passing the virus to their children.” The news agency continues, “Despite Obama’s more ambitious goals,” which build on existing PEPFAR programs, “the plan’s budget is not expected to increase. Instead, officials said the expanded targets would be funded through savings achieved by making the program more efficient and cutting the costs of treatment” (Pace, 12/1).
The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria decided to cancel Round 11 grant approval during a two-day meeting in Accra, Ghana, that concluded on November 22, according to a Global Fund press release (11/23). The following opinion pieces address this action.
GlobalPost examines the “collision of scientific advances vs. economic realities” in the fight against HIV/AIDS in a special report as part of its “Healing the World” series. “Thirty years after the discovery of AIDS, scientists believe for the first time that they now have the tools to beat back the deadly virus. … But the gloomy global economic situation, and recent scale-backs in HIV funding around the world, have cast great doubt as to whether policymakers will take advantage of the combination of new prevention tools to fight AIDS,” the article states, noting that “President Obama is expected on Thursday — World AIDS Day — to talk about his administration’s next steps on AIDS, … his first major speech on AIDS as president” (Donnelly, 11/30).
In this post on the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Jenny Ottenhoff, policy outreach associate at the Center, examines the prospects for U.S. spending on global AIDS programs. She writes “it seems we have reached a ‘tipping point’ where the science, technology and know-how are available to…