Global Fund Board Reaffirms Strong Commitment to Ending Pandemics Amid Growing Global Health Threat
The board noted continued progress in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, but noted climate change, conflict and anti-LGBTQI+ legislation as risk factors in the fight to end the three diseases.
May 12, 2023
have us – The Board of Directors of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria held its 49th meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 10-11 May 2023, the first time it has been held in the Western Pacific since 2007. The meeting was opened by Ms. Do Hong Lan, Minister of Health of Vietnam.
“The selection of Vietnam to participate in our board meeting underscores the country’s commitment to fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and building resilient and sustainable health systems with the strong engagement of a vibrant civil society and vibrant communities. Incredible work,” said Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Chairman of the Global Fund Board of Directors. “Vietnam’s struggle has inspired the rest of the region and the world. Yet we meet at a critical time, as the recent global collision crisis highlights the need for a strong, effective global fund to meet the needs of those most affected around the world.”
The Board noted the considerable progress made in combating the three diseases in several parts of the world – including in achieving 95-95-95 HIV goals In Eastern and Southern Africa, success in the fight against drug-resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong region, and a general rebound in tuberculosis services and indicators – and commends the Global Fund for its contribution to saving more than 29 million lives during 2017-2021. Board of Directors An update was also received on this year’s spending in the current grant cycle, on track to surpass the record $5.2 billion in 2022 and demonstrate the unprecedented scale, intensity and breadth of grant implementation efforts across the partnership.
However, Board members expressed concern about global health challenges that have the potential to jeopardize the achievement of SDG 3 on health and well-being for all. Climate change and increasing conflict and displacement are affecting the epidemiology and transmission of existing diseases, especially malaria, and increasing the risk of new diseases emerging. Additionally, the dramatic deterioration of LGBTQI+ rights in many countries over the past few months has the potential to further impede access to health in communities already facing stigma and discrimination.
“Reducing stigma, discrimination and criminalization of key populations most affected by HIV is a prerequisite for defeating AIDS,” said Ms. Roslyn Morauta, Vice Chair of the Global Fund Board of Directors. “Punitive laws will fuel the HIV epidemic and endanger the health of entire communities. That is why the Global Fund works to break down human rights-related barriers that undermine access to health care.”
The Board also emphasized the urgent need to revitalize political and technical leadership to address the growing malaria risks associated with climate change and drug or insecticide resistance, and to get back on track for malaria elimination. Board members then voted in favor of ( English download ) increased risk appetite for malaria interventions, while also urging vigilance for tuberculosis.
Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund, echoed these concerns and urged greater partnerships among global players to address these current challenges. “We have to fight for a better place for infectious diseases on the climate change agenda,” he said. “Malaria is an iconic example of how climate change affects human health. Tackling malaria needs to be a central component of a fairer global response to climate change.”
The Board discussed economic trends and fiscal pressures in many implementing countries that affect their ability to finance health services, and urged partners to accelerate innovative financing solutions and drive ambitious but realistic domestic health financing.
The Board also encouraged global partners to maintain their ambition to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030, including through the use of innovation and sustained increased investment in health systems strengthening. It approved several adjustments to optimize the monitoring of progress in eliminating the three diseases as public health threats and in building resilient and sustainable health systems ( English download ) framework of key performance indicators, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria incidence and mortality targets during the implementation of the 2030 strategy.
Emphasize the central role of the Global Fund in combating pandemics – including the reprogramming of $547 million since the last Board meeting in November 2022 ( English download ) COVID-19 Response Fund to Support Health Systems Strengthening and Pandemic Preparedness – Board members discuss Global Fund’s work with various global health partners, including new epidemic fund. They agreed that fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and strengthening health and community systems must be at the heart of preparing for and defeating future epidemics. They highlighted the need for more effective coordination of funding to respond to the pandemic in order to make an impact and reduce the burden on countries.
The Board also endorses the Office of the Inspector General’s annual opinion, noting that there are no reports in 2022 that would materially affect the overall achievement of the Global Fund’s strategic and operational objectives. Likewise, the Chief Ethics Officer believes that the state of the ethics and integrity system at the Global Fund maintains at least the previously reported level of maturity, noting that the Global Fund has taken several steps in 2022 aimed at further strengthening the organization’s ethics. The Board reaffirms its strong commitment to zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) and supports the Global Fund’s strong work to implement safeguards to prevent, detect and respond to SEAH in all its funded projects.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Board members expressed their deep gratitude to Board Chair Dr. Kaberuka and Vice Chair Ms. Morauta, commending their contributions in their positions over the past four years, which were completed at the conclusion of the meeting. Dr. Kaberuka was awarded the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus. The Board then warmly welcomed Mrs. Morauta as the new Chair of the Board and Bience Gawanas as the new Vice-Chair, both beginning three-year terms in their new functions.