April 9, 2020
Global Fund creates mechanism to respond to COVID-19 and protect gains in global AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria responses
Washington, DC – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced today that it is establishing a new mechanism to channel donor resources to fight COVID-19 in hard hit countries around the world.
The Global Fund’s Board approved $500 million for the new funding stream today. This follows an initial allotment of up to $500 million that the Global Fund made available to grant implementing countries in early March. Public and private donors are encouraged to contribute additional funds to the emergency response fund to help meet the growing need for resources to address COVID-19 globally.
Resources channeled through the emergency response fund will go towards preparedness assessments, laboratory testing, surveillance infrastructure, infection control in health facilities, and public information campaigns, among other activities. Funds will also be used to shore up responses to the AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics that are strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. (More information is available from the Global Fund.)
Because of the Global Fund’s robust grant-making capabilities, global procurement expertise, and longstanding local networks — with governments, civil society organizations, and affected communities — it can quickly deploy and monitor resources on the ground.
“The Global Fund is uniquely suited to help in the fight against COVID-19,” said Chris Collins, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, TB and malaria. “The U.S. should continue to demonstrate global leadership and solidarity by investing in this new emergency mechanism. It will not only rapidly deliver resources to countries in need, it will also ensure that life-saving work on AIDS, TB and malaria will not be interrupted.”
Health systems in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, are already fragile and overburdened. COVID-19 could stretch them to a breaking point, while also stalling hard fought progress against the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics.
“The Global Fund has proven time and again that it’s nimble, has meticulous oversight, is trusted by donors and implementing countries alike, and can quickly deliver medications and supplies to those who need them most,” said Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Friends’ Board Chair and CEO at Rabin Martin, a global health strategy consulting firm. “This new emergency mechanism is an important step forward in the fight against COVID-19, and a way for U.S. corporations to contribute directly.”
The Global Fund has already encouraged countries receiving Global Fund grants to urgently prepare for COVID-19 and to mitigate its effects on HIV, TB, and malaria programs. Separate from the new funding mechanism, the Global Fund has approved requests from 54 countries and two regional grant programs to employ savings from efficiencies and up to 5 percent of Global Fund grant resources to fight COVID-19.
In addition, of the roughly $4 billion the Global Fund invests in HIV, TB, and malaria programs per year, more than $1 billion of that directly strengthens health systems to improve procurement and supply chains, diagnostics and surveillance capacities, data systems and data use, along with training qualified health care workers, building stronger community responses and systems and promoting the delivery of integrated health services.
ABOUT FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA: Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria advocates for U.S. support of the Global Fund, and the goal to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.theglobalfight.org.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL FUND:
The Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. As an international organization, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries. In partnership with governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector, faith-based organizations and people affected by the diseases, we are challenging barriers and embracing innovation. Learn more at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/overview.
Rachel Irwin, [email protected]
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