May 4, 2023
Chris Collins, President & CEO of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, submitted comments following the HHS Stakeholder Listening Session for the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting on May 4.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. It is good that the global community is discussing how to strengthen pandemic preparedness. And it is good that, increasingly, people are recognizing that strong and accountable health systems and primary health care are the foundation of preparedness.
But I am worried that what could get lost in this intensifying dialogue is our commitment to ending the pandemics that continue to rage around us today. The AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria pandemics are killing millions of people each year. There is no genuine health security as long as we fail to bring these pandemics under control.
At the same time, we know that the people and systems working every day to address AIDS, TB and malaria played an enormous role in helping communities address COVID-19. National AIDS, TB and malaria programs, the Global Fund, and US bilateral global health programs must be fully integrated in a holistic approach to pandemic preparedness.
Over a third of Global Fund investments help countries prepare for future pandemics. In fact, one immediate way to increase preparedness is to close the gap in the Global Fund’s 7th replenishment. Failure to meet the $18 billion Replenishment target undermines preparedness and threatens to squander over a billion dollars from the generous $6 billion pledge made by President Biden that requires matching by other donors.
I urge you to press for language in the Health Ministers’ and general G7 communiques that reaffirms the SDG target of ending the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics by 2030. To sustain the US global health programming that the Biden Administration has championed and mobilize other donors in these efforts, it is important to include such language.
It will likely require US leadership to ensure this language is included. I noted that neither the G7 Foreign Ministers Communique nor the G7 Senior Development Officials Chair’s Summary includes a recommitment on ending the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics.
So, I encourage you to press for language such as:
- “We recommit to ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, recognizing these efforts are critical assets to pandemic preparedness and stronger health systems.”
- “We noted the historic outcome of the Global Fund’s 7th replenishment and encourage current and new donors to make additional pledges toward the $18 billion replenishment goal as one step toward better preparedness and stronger health systems.”
Thank you for all you are doing. I appreciate you considering my remarks.