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Ensure Future For Global Fund Or ‘Forfeit’ Chance At ‘AIDS-Free Generation’

In this New York Times opinion piece, Paul Farmer, chair of the department of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School and a co-founder of Partners in Health, examines the importance of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as it faces a “serious financial shortfall,” writing, “Beyond AIDS, the Global Fund is currently the largest donor in the world for tuberculosis and malaria programs. … The question is not whether the Global Fund works, but how to ensure it keeps working for years to come.”

Farmer highlights four reasons why ensuring a future for the Global Fund is imperative, writing, “First, the world needs to expand, not contract, access to health care because of the sheer burden of disease”; “Second, the Fund doesn’t simply give handouts; it takes the longer road of investing in and working with health ministries”; “Third, the Global Fund proves how much multilateral organizations can accomplish”; and “Fourth, a recession is a lousy excuse to starve one of the best (and only) instruments we have for helping people who live on a few dollars a day.” He concludes, “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. This is no time to step back” (2/1).