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Collapse Of Global Fund Would Stall Global Health Efforts

“The Global Fund’s drive to ensure sustainability and efficiency means that it may not be able to meet its commitments to combat disease, says Laurie Garrett,” a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, in Nature’s “World View” column. Citing his resignation letter, Garrett discusses the “the political struggle” that led Michel Kazatchkine to step down as executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria last week and writes, “It is a classic battle of titans, pitting urgency against long-term sustainability. … Kazatchkine essentially conceded victory to the forces for sustainability.”

Garrett recounts a brief history of the fund, discusses funding shortfalls and writes, “Should it disappear, or radically diminish, countries would be hard-pressed to finance malaria and tuberculosis efforts. Indeed, the great diminishment has commenced.” She concludes, “Should the fund collapse, the consequences will be severe. Progress against tuberculosis and malaria will stall, and more than a million people living with HIV could be left without treatment” (2/1).