From 16-17 November 2016, the city of Montreux hosts the Thirty-Sixth Board Meeting of the Global Fund. With representation of implementers and donors, the Board includes 20 voting members, non-governmental organizations, communities affected by HIV, TB and malaria, the private sector and private foundations, also represented as voting members.
Under a guiding philosophy for advancing a partnership approach for global health, the Global Fund embraces shared responsibility and a strong commitment for achieving the ambitious targets on the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030 while ensuring responsible and assertive transitions from Global Fund support to domestic funding for health and community systems strengthening in all regions of the world.
Back in September 2016, the Global Fund marked a milestone after a successful Replenishment Forum in Canada when donors pledged over US$12.9 billion for the next three years. While this replenishment has been recognized as a truly successful, collective and solidary tribute to end HIV, TB and malaria as the worst epidemics affecting lives of millions, it will be up to the Board and its members to set strategic directions and priorities for the programs and projects to be funded and implemented in the next couple of years to ensure a sustainable response to the three diseases.
As part of his report on resource mobilizations and overall leadership updates, Executive Director Mark Dybul gave comments based on discussions and negotiations from prior days, in preparation for this meeting. “I want to mention again that the Global Fund is not raising money for raising money, but instead we are doing it to save lives and improve the quality of not only HIV, TB and malaria health but overall health and wellbeing” he mentioned, while adding that “we need a view of the future with hope and we need young people for this - this way, we can achieve all of our goals. I cannot thank you all enough for your support”, finalized.
During this meeting, the Board will discuss important agenda items related to the Global Fund Strategy 2017-2022, sources and uses of funds for this period as well as issues related to available funding up to US$ 800M for Catalytic Investments which, as approved in the last Board meeting in Abidjan, will be aimed at scaling-up programs to greatly impact a comprehensive response to the three diseases. On Thursday 17 November, the Board will also vote upon the process for appointment of the new Executive Director, a multi-year workplan with the Technical Evaluation Reference Group (TERG) and Key Performance Indicators as part of the work of the Fund in a transparent and results-driven modality.
For community organizations like SOMOSGAY, the effective uses of funds and appropriate plans for countries to transition from Global Fund support to domestic funding remains a major concern at the Board level, especially since the current plans lack clarity on how to ensure money gets to grassroots level for key affected populations such as gay men, transgender women, sex workers and people who use drugs.
“Our communities have and still remain disproportionately affected by HIV in all regions of the world, and this is why we need the Global Fund to become an even more innovative partnership than it was 15 years ago in order to ensure funding for advocacy at the community level, where we need it the most” mentioned Sergio during an intervention with Board members and strategic partners. “We are talking about transition here when in fact the discussion on sustainability needs to come first: the Global Fund remains our best hope for a political breakthrough on public health and that’s why we need it to work with and for communities”.
This week, SOMOSGAY will keep advocating for “a vision of the future”, as mentioned by ED Mark Dybul himself, that goes beyond merely “mitigating” and “adapting” to these diseases in order to use our knowledge and experience baggage to end HIV as a public health issue and improve the quality of life for all: everyone, everywhere.
More information about the Global Fund Board, its composition and decision points available in this link: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/