Global Fund

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Global Partnership for Education taps former Australian PM to boost funding for education | 

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Troy Constable

The global campaign for education snagged a high-profile politician this week. Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will assume the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Education.

The organization’s model is akin to that of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, but it has not been able to wrestle the same financial resources.  The Global Fund managed to raise $12 billion in its December replenishment event, short of the $15b requested, but more than the previous $10b.

The Global Fund for Education hopes to also succeed when it holds its replenishment meeting in June.  A public goal has not been made, but the group said that they received $1.2 billion in funding requests in 2013. The Global Partnership for Education has managed to allocate $3.1 billion since 2002, not enough to stave off the 6.3% decline in global aid for basic education between 2009 and 2011.

“I am also alarmed about the recent sharp decline in donor support to education that threatens the progress achieved over the past decade, particularly for girls’ education,” said Gillard at the time of her appointment. “The global community must respond generously to the upcoming call for a renewal of multilateral, bilateral and national financing for basic education.”

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Progress at risk despite millions of lives saved from malaria, warns WHO | 

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Vestergaard Frandsen

Some 3.3 million lives were saved since 2000 from malaria, says a new WHO report.

Deaths worldwide fell by 45% and were more than halved for African children under five years old.

However, a lack of funds and recent problems with bednet makers means the progress made over the last decade is as risk.

“This remarkable progress is no cause for complacency: absolute numbers of malaria cases and deaths are not going down as fast as they could,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “The fact that so many people are infected and dying from mosquito bites is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century.”

Cases of malaria fell by 29% worldwide over the period, but an estimated 3.4 billion people remain at risk for malaria. The problem is concentrated. According to the WHO, 80% of global malaria cases occur in southeast Asia and in Africa.

The number of bed nets distributed has declined over the past three years from 145 million in 2010 to 70 million in 2012. That falls short of the 150 million needed each year to ensure every person at risk is protected, says the WHO.
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Visualizing progress against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria | 

Guest post by Katie Leach-Kemon, a policy translation specialist from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) announced this week that donors pledged a total of US $12 billion to save lives through prevention and treatment of these three diseases.

The $12 billion represents the largest amount pledged to the Global Fund to date, as shown in the figure below. Many celebrated this milestone while others, as Humanosphere reported earlier this week, emphasized that it fell short of the goal of $15 billion, an amount advocates said was needed to continue to make progress against these killers.

Global Fund ATM

Significant progress has been made in reducing deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide. The video below charts the decline in deaths from HIV/AIDS worldwide from 1990 to 2010 using the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) data visualization tools:

The video shows how deaths from HIV/AIDS increased in most age groups through 2005 but started to drop by 2010. Continue reading

What global health needs is more (value for) money | 

There’s been a lot of hoo-hah this week in and around the UN General Assembly meeting in New York City focused on maintaining the world’s progress against poverty, especially diseases of poverty – aka global health.

GlobalFundLogoNothing perhaps inspires more hoo-hah in the global health arena than the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – and for good reason. The Global Fund has saved millions of lives by getting life-saving drugs to people with HIV, TB and malaria, by getting tens of millions of bed nets out to prevent malaria and by literally bringing back to life many of the poorest, most ravaged communities on Earth. It now pays for most TB and malaria care worldwide, and one-fifth of the world’s response to HIV-AIDS.

It’s easy to forget how hopeless we all felt little more than a decade ago regarding the deadly threat of these major killers. It’s easy to forget how crazy ambitious it was to launch the Global Fund. AIDS was burning a wide swath through Africa, which the Economist magazine notoriously dubbed “The Hopeless Continent.” Hardly anyone even thought much about the millions dying from TB and malaria.

The Global Fund was, and is, one of the most hopeful, compassionate and impressive things the international community has done in a long time. That’s why it’s being celebrated in and around the grand UN confab this week. That’s why everyone cheered at the stunning statistics of lives saved, as well as when Britain announced this week it would give another $1.6 billion to the Global Fund, and it’s also why some are clamoring for even more funds – since many millions more are still not reached.

But like most things we humans do when we rush in to fix something, the Global Fund was also seriously flawed.

And it’s high time we deal with the flaws. Or so says Amanda Glassman, a global health expert and author of a new report called More Health for the Money. Here’s the video version:

What? There are 200 different kind of bed nets to prevent malaria? How can that be? Continue reading

Advocates warn of global health doomsday if Global Fund doesn’t get money | 

DfID Secretary Justine Greening at UNDP last year.
DfID Secretary Justine Greening at UNDP last year.
UNDP

(New York) – A pledge by the UK to provide the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria £1 billion ($1.6 billion USD) over three years inches the global health funder closer to its goal of $15 billion for its next funding replenishment. The announcement buoys hopes that the international donor community will continue to keep the Global Fund afloat.

“It is in all our interests to help people to live longer, healthier, more productive lives so we all need to play our part in working towards a world free of HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB,” said UK Department for International Development secretary Justine Greening at a UN meeting on the Millennium Development Goals.

A £1 billion commitment to the Global Fund equates to one life saved every three minutes, said Greening. Providing 10% of the needed Global Fund budget over three years will only happen if other donors step up to reach $15 billion. There are concerns that progress gained by the Global Fund’s work over the past few years could be lost if the funding does not come through. Continue reading

A post-mortem for a dead international NGO | 

DRC: A Merlin health worker attends to two new mothers under mosquito nets.

Merlin/Frederic Courbet

DRC: A Merlin health worker attends to two new mothers under mosquito nets.

Earlier this month the UK-based Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin) announced a merger with Save the Children. The two NGOs said that the decision was to achieve a better reach of critical humanitarian services to the world’s most vulnerable.

“By combining Merlin’s expertise and flexibility with the heritage and reach of Save the Children, we will create a unique proposition: a global humanitarian force that can provide faster and more cost effective support in a humanitarian crisis,” said Carolyn Miller CBE, Chief Executive of Merlin at the time of the announcement.

An investigation into the past few years of Merlin’s operations reveals that the charity was financially stressed. John Alliage Morales at Devex dug into Merlin’s financials and asked other NGO workers to find out what happened. He learned that narrow funding streams and overspending in 2011 led to £1.9 million in losses.

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From Zambia to America, a plea to continue the global fight against AIDS, TB and malaria | 

Luwiza Makukula
Luwiza Makukula

It’s hard to imagine Luwiza Makukula of a dozen or so years ago.

“Things were very difficult in Zambia then,” said Makukula, a soft-spoken and elegantly dressed grandmother of two I met briefly during a visit to Seattle this week. Her visit was sponsored by the anti-poverty organization RESULTS, a group which the Seattle Times’ columnist Danny Westneat once described as “the most influential anti-poverty group you’ve never heard of.” One of the reasons for this is the way RESULTS has operated for some 30 years – quietly, persistently and face-to-face.

That’s why Makukula came here from Zambia to tell her story.

“I lost my husband to HIV in 2001,” she said. “We didn’t know but after he died I started getting sick with fevers, in and out of the hospital.”

Makukula was eventually diagnosed with TB, and then found to also be HIV-positive. By then, she was in a wheelchair, suffering from exhaustion and cognitive lapses. They put her in an isolation ward that she said “felt like jail.” The drugs she needed to stay alive cost about $200 a month, in a country which at the time had an annual per capita income of about $1000.

She wasn’t alone in her deadly predicament. At the time, HIV and TB were burning a wide swath across much of southern Africa. Continue reading

The Big Push — Celebs say ‘Don’t stop now’ in the global fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria | 

It’s about money, life and death. It’s the “Big Push” led by Arianna Huffington, and the Huffington Post.

It’s UN Week and that time of year when all of the leading the philanthropists and bigshot humanitarians come together in New York City to make their pitches. This one is deadly serious: If the international community wants to maintain the amazing progress made in saving millions of lives affected by AIDS, TB and malaria, governments and donors will need to make good on their promises: