A Billion Dollar Gap

Alison Root — May 23, 2011 – 10:25 am

It seems like just recently ACTION and the global health community put all hands on deck to ensure a robust Global Fund replenishment. In the U.S., ACTION celebrated the government’s commitment of $4 billion, which despite being lower than the global need, was a major feat in itself. In our field, oftentimes advocacy wins are short lived.  On the heels of releasing its impressive 2011 results report,  the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reaffirmed last week that despite amassing $11.7 billion in 2010’s donor replenishment,  they will face more than a $1 billion shortfall.

The Global Fund’s 2011 results report, launched on May 19th, demonstrates the remarkable impact the Fund has had on AIDS,  TB and malaria to date.  The Global Fund has saved 6.5 million lives since 2002, 4.1 million of them from successful TB treatments [1]. That number is so massive, it’s nearly impossible to comprehend it.

In 2009, the Global Fund provided 65% of international TB funding for the 22 high-burden countries, making it an extremely important player in the global fight against TB. In fact, with Global Fund support, more than 7.7 million cases of TB were treated between 2002-2010, including an increased number of MDR-TB cases as well [2].

In order to achieve the Global Fund’s targets for TB, MDR-TB and TB-HIV, as well as additional targets for HIV and malaria, the resource gap must be filled. Despite the global financial crisis, the replenishment in 2010 garnered $11.7 billion in donor pledges. This figure, however, is below the lowest estimated demand from recipient countries for this time period. In order to reach the lowest case scenario, at least $1 billion is needed for 2011-2013.

Given the Global Fund’s demonstrated importance and impact, especially given its role in the fight against global TB,  donors need to step up to fill this gap. To ensure the effective use of current levels of resources, the Global fund will reconsider the rate of program scale-up and determine cost-effective investments to ensure they continue to save millions of lives.

The Global Fund’s impressive results should motivate advocates and policymakers to make a mid-term replenishment a reality in order to address this funding shortfall. Not doing so will jeopardize advances made to date and slow progress in the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria. We cannot let this hapen, especially in the wake of impressive results.

Read the Global Fund’s 2011 report