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.”
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.
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).
African Countries Lose Billions Of Dollars Training Doctors Who Then Leave For Developed Nations, Study Says
Nine African countries — Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe â€“ “have lost approximately $2 billion in their investment in doctors who have subsequently migrated abroad,” with South Africa and Zimbabwe suffering “the greatest economic losses,” according to a study published Friday in BMJ, VOA’s “Breaking News” blog reports (11/25). The researchers, led by Edward Mills, chair of global health at the University of Ottawa, found “Australia, Canada, Britain and the United States benefit the most from recruiting doctors trained abroad” and “called on destination countries to recognize this imbalance and invest more in training and developing health systems in the countries that lose out,” Reuters writes (Kelland, 11/25). The Los Angeles Times’ “World Now” blog writes, “Rich countries saved money by training fewer doctors than they needed and making up the gap by importing medical staff, according to the report” (11/25).
“United Nations aid agencies said Friday more than five million Pakistanis are in need of humanitarian assistance following the floods earlier this year,” with nearly half of those being children, the VOA “Breaking News” blog reports (11/26). “UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said the most urgent risks to children are those related to safe water and malnutrition, with malnutrition rates in the affected areas already found to be high before the floods began,” according to the U.N. News Centre (11/25).
Washington Must Lead Search For Additional Financing, More Cost-Effective Strategies In Fight Against AIDS
This New York Times editorial responds to the latest UNAIDS report (.pdf), which it says “reveals substantial success by some measures and stagnation by others,” writing, “The challenge, in tough times, that must be met is to find enough resources to capitalize on scientific breakthroughs and keep the campaign moving forward.”
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.
Report Highlights Improvement In Children’s Well-Being, But Health Organizations Call For Stronger Political Commitment To Maintain Progress
“Children’s well-being has improved dramatically thanks to increased global political will and efficient supportive programs and policies, according to a report released [Wednesday] by [UNICEF] and Save the Children U.K., but it also warns that benefits need to reach the most disadvantaged children for gains to be sustainable,” the U.N. News Centre reports, adding, “Among the most prominent accomplishments highlighted by the report is the significant decline in child mortality rates.” According to the news service, “The authors of the report cite a number of factors for these advancements, but place particular emphasis on the high-level commitment and supportive government policies that have placed children’s well-being as a priority” (11/23).
“I suggest that GOP presidential candidates apply … personal finance principles to evaluate why foreign aid is worth the investment,” Samuel Worthington, president of InterAction, writes in a CNN opinion piece. He says foreign aid is “like an insurance premium” because it is a small portion of the federal budget but “small cash outlays can prevent major expenses later,” such as investing in food security to prevent famine. Small investments now will help “today’s aid recipients [become] tomorrow’s consumers of American exports,” which helps support domestic jobs, he writes.