With demand for access to treatment growing and financial resources shrinking, the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria convened its IV Partnership Forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 28-30. The aim of this year’s meeting: to establish a five-year (2012-2016) plan to battle the three diseases that continues to wreak havoc in the developing world, including Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
Key actors from governments and civil society from around the globe and representatives of the Global Fund explored new ways of generating needed funds, which included getting developed nations to increase their donations and encouraging developing nations to mobilize to raise money within their own countries.
Enrique Chavez, who attended the forum as director of AID FOR AIDS International’s Advocacy Department and Observatorio Latino’s coordinator, said the discussion mirrored the exchange of views at the meeting of activists the day before
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“Developing nations, in particular, need to begin considering themselves as donors, not just recipients,” said Chavez. “Every country has to chip in and contribute. Among the representatives from the developing world, there seemed to be a consensus that the global economic climate necessitates a higher level of sacrifice from everyone.”
The Global Fund’s new 5-year strategic plan calls for raising more funds through broadening the diversity of the donor base, incentivizing domestic sources to increase their donations, and coming up with new, innovative funding mechanisms. The “Debit To Health” initiative, which aims to convert a portion of developing nations’ international debt into funding for domestic health care needs, is a prime example of an innovative approach to revenue generation.
The 5-year plan further addresses the need to maximize the impact of the Global Fund’s investments, but not only on HIV, TB and Malaria. The plan calls for greater efforts to improve health systems particularly for women’s and children’s health, to promote human rights and equitable access, and to improve the efficiency of the Global Fund’s operations through partnerships, strengthening governance, using the fund’s purchasing power to impact prices, and addressing supply bottlenecks.
“We were especially pleased with the Fund’s call for more programmatic attention to human rights issues, and greater levels of investment aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS,” concluded Chavez.