IRIN PlusNews HIV/AIDS News and information service | Africa | SOUTH AFRICA: New strategies needed to meet shortfalls says Global Fund report | Care Treatment, Prevention | Breaking News
Thursday 13 July 2006
Home About PlusNews Country Profiles News Briefs Special Reports Subscribe Archive IRINnews


East Africa
Great Lakes
Horn of Africa
Southern Africa
West Africa
RSS - News Briefs


PlusNews E-mail Subscription

SOUTH AFRICA: New strategies needed to meet shortfalls says Global Fund report

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

©  Global Fund

The Global Fund published its 2006 Progress Report on Thursday

JOHANNESBURG, 29 June (PLUSNEWS) - More than four years since its launch, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has made significant gains in combating three of the world's deadliest diseases, but is threatened by funding shortfalls.

According to a progress report issued on Thursday, through programmes in 131 countries, the Fund has steadily increased the number of HIV and TB patients being treated, and the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria infections. Nearly half a million people around the world, 398,000 of them in Africa, now receive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment paid for by the Global Fund, which accounts for 20 percent of all AIDS funding.

But Brian Brink of Anglo American, a board member of the Global Fund's Private Sector Delegation, noted at a press briefing in Johannesburg that securing donations was the Fund's greatest challenge. It currently has a funding shortfall of about US$2.1 billion, nearly half the US$5.5 billion it needs to finance new and current grants.

"The Global Fund is dependant on getting enough money, and that money - up until now - has come mainly from governments in developed countries," Brink said. "But we're looking at trying to get a more involved private sector."

Private sector fund-raising initiatives, like the Product Red campaign championed by U2's Bono, could be the key, he said. Looking beyond Europe and North America to the governments of the Middle East, Russia and China for donations would be another likely strategy, added Global Fund spokesperson Jon Lidén.

The Global Fund was launched four and a half years ago to create a new financing mechanism that would allocate funds solely on the basis of merit and performance. By channeling money through local implementing partners the Fund encourages country ownership and a 'no strings attached' approach, in contrast to many other international funding bodies.

"We're under constant pressure from parts of the political right in the United States to do things differently," said Lidén. "But despite the US being our largest funder, we've never given in to any kind of political pressure."

The price the Global Fund pays for this independence is the precariousness of its funding. The Fund is now considering its sixth round of grant proposals and has until November to raise the necessary donations. So far, only US$200 million has been pledged. Lidén estimated that an additional US$900 million would be needed for new grants, and an extra funding round would be needed towards the end of the year, when the first of its five-year grants near the end of their lifespan. The question of whether sufficient funding will be raised to renew these grants emphasizes the need for the Fund to come up with a longer-term, more sustainable financing model.

"Pledges to the Global Fund are increasing all the time," Lidén said. "The problem is that the need is increasing even faster." Rather than competing with other financing mechanisms for a larger share of funding, he added, "we're fighting for an increased cake".

Two key meetings will take place in Durban next week. The first is a Partnership Forum bringing together 400 participants from civil society, faith-based and public-sector organisations in 115 countries to discuss challenges and produce strategy recommendations to guide the Global Fund's decision-making, explained Forum Facilitator Mandeep Dhaliwal.

Ninety percent of recommendations from the Forum's last meeting two years ago were acted upon, she said. One of the issues likely to be discussed at the Durban meeting are the difficulties of scaling up prevention and treatment efforts in the context of weak, under-resourced health systems.

The Partnership Forum will be followed by a Mid-Term Replenishment Conference, where donors will discuss funding needs and shortfalls and, it is hoped, make additional pledges.


Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Soap star on drugs!,  12/Jul/06
Contrasting HIV-positive lives,  30/Jun/06
New AIDS threat looms,  19/Jun/06
Govt wants to monitor PEPFAR funding,  12/Jun/06
HIV-positive Muslims take comfort in their faith,  26/May/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.

[Back] [Home Page]

Click here to send any feedback, comments or questions you have about PlusNews Website or if you prefer you can send an Email to Webmaster

Copyright © IRIN 2006
The material contained on comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.
All PlusNews material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.