The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (The Global Fund) is a partnership of governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector and people affected by the diseases.
The Global Fund has played a pivotal role in bringing down the number of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths since it was created in 2002.
It pools the world’s resources to invest strategically in programs to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. In total the Global Fund has allocated more than $50 billion US dollars between 2002 and 2021.
For the 2020-2022 period the Global Fund has distributed more than $13 billion US dollars to local experts and organisations in 106 countries – and has included COVID-19 to the diseases it targets.
On average the Global Fund invests $4 billion US dollars annually in support of local programs. 74% of the funds globally were invested in Africa in 2021.
Between 2002 and 2020, The Global Fund has saved 44 million lives across the three diseases
The Global Fund releases an annual result report highlighting the progress that has been made for each of the three diseases that the Global Fund targets.
25% of international HIV funding came from the Global Fund in 2020 – and AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 68% in countries where the Global Fund invests since the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 2004.
But the progress was disrupted in 2020 – and support for the fight against HIV is as important as ever.
While more people are on treatment than ever before, the number of infections isn’t dropping fast enough – and COVID-19 interrupted critical testing and prevention activities, particularly for key and vulnerable populations who are most at risk of contracting HIV.
The impact of COVID-19
The 2021 report highlights significant declines in HIV testing and prevention services for key and vulnerable populations who were already disproportionately affected.
Compared with 2019, people reached with HIV prevention programs and services declined by 11% while young people reached with prevention services declined by 12%. Mothers receiving medicine to prevent transmitting HIV to their babies dropped by 4.5%. HIV testing dropped by 22%.
AIDS-Fondet and The Global Fund
AIDS-Fondet works in a strategic partnership with the Global Fund to increase awareness of the work the fund does globally – and the diseases it works to eradicate.
AIDS-Fondet is the lead for advocating for Nordic support for the Global Fund in collaboration with partners in Finland, Sweden, and Norway.
The partnership aims at harnessing political support for the Global Fund in all four countries and to ensure continued and increased funding to the Global Fund.
The funding cycle starts and ends with the so-called replenishment rounds. A replenishment round is a fundraisning exercise that takes place every third year. 2019-2021 was the sixth replenishment cycle since 2005 (before which funding was ad-hoc contributions), covering the financial period 2020-2022.
At the most recent replenishment round in 2019 the Global Fund raised a record breaking 14 billion US dollars for the 2020-2022 period including $565 million US dollars from Scandinavia.
COVID-19 – reversing the gains
The COVID-19-pandemic has had a negative effect on the global fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In many developing countries, lack of access to tests and medicine due to overburdened health facilities, travel restrictions, curfews, and shrinking civic space are contributing factors, leaving the most vulnerable further behind.
As such, the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces the need to enhance knowledge about the important work of the Global Fund in order to foster political support and commitment across the Nordic countries.
In April 2021 the Global Fund released a report that showed that COVID-19 had massively disrupted health systems and health service delivery for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia in 2020.
The report showed that HIV testing went down by a staggering 41% in 2020 and referrals of patients suspected of having tuberculosis, many of whom live with HIV, went down by 59%. Because of COVID-19. The real – and fatal – effects of this will be felt in the years to come.
The Global Fund offered support to initiatives in direct response to COVID-19 in 2020, but more importantly also to initiatives aimed at mitigating the negative effects COVID-19 has had on the work to stop the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.