November 12, 2021
Chief Policy Officer Mark P. Lagon summarizes key takeaways from the Global Fund’s 45th Board Meeting.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is governed by a Board of government, private sector, philanthropic, civil society and affected populations representatives in donor and implementing countries. It held the second of two yearly meetings on November 8-10, 2021. Given COVID-19’s disruption of progress on AIDS, TB and malaria response, the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism to address it, and larger issues of equity of access to pandemic-related healthcare, the multistakeholder Board took up several pivotal agenda items:
- It adopted a new multiyear strategy for 2023-2028, to:
- accelerate progress toward ending the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics;
- extend its investments for several years in local health systems and health workers, which have proven crucial to tackle the three diseases and weather COVID; and
- build on current strengths useful to pandemic preparedness and response in the roughly 120 countries with which it partners–such as addressing human rights of vulnerable groups, deploying and scaling innovations, and developing digital health and supply chains.
- ·It voted for continuity of its resource allocation of 50% to AIDS, 18% to TB and 32% to malaria for the 2023-2025 period. Yet for the portion of funding above raised $12 billion for that 3 year period, it would be 45% to AIDS, and 25% for TB and 30% for malaria, and it committed to evidence-based reassessments and optimizing resources given the especially large disruption of TB response under COVID-19.
- It supported a budget and workplan for the next year reaccelerating AIDS, TB and malaria progress with a continued need for a COVID-19 response—and transitioning to the 2023-2028 Strategy.
- The Global Fund’s Inspector General, Tracy Staines, reported on a favorable independent reviews of the Global Fund’s core work and COVID-19 Response Mechanism for their speed, efficiency and vigilance against fraud. These proactive IG assessments will continue as the pace and volume of Global Fund work grow.
- Additionally, it approved a new Independent Evaluation and Learning function–and a chief officer to lead it. The new office is designed to unify assessments of impact and promote fast-actionable learning.
- It planned for a seventh replenishment (donor campaign for 2023-2025), culminating in autumn 2022, designed to expand contributions from implementing countries, the private sector, the philanthropic sector and other non-foreign aid sources.
Later in the day after the Board meeting ended, the Biden Administration announced the U.S. would host the seventh replenishment.
The meeting prepared a unique institution–with its deep local partnerships, human rights- and evidence-based grantmaking, and health systems strengthening—to continue to deliver results against AIDS, TB and malaria and help implementing countries face inevitable emerging pandemics.