UNAIDS reaffirms its partnership with Global Fund as board meeting concludes
07 May 2009
The 19th Board Meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) concluded yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland. Opening a technical session on “The Global Fund's role as a strategic and responsible investor in HIV/AIDS” earlier, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé reaffirmed UNAIDS commitment to its partnership and reiterated his call for a fully funded Global Fund. He called for bolder action in order to address the challenges facing the AIDS response.
Michel Sidibé spoke of the need for smarter investments in the AIDS response: “as long as there are five people newly infected for every two people starting HIV treatment we will not change the trajectory of the epidemic.” He also called for the virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission by 2015.
Mr Sidibé emphasized the importance of the mechanism provided by the Global Fund in addressing global health challenges and identified this time of economic crisis as an opportunity for change: “in this time of crisis, today’s topic - investing strategically and responsibly – is needed now more than ever.”
Investing in the AIDS response
The session was jointly developed by UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO and the office of the Global Fund Chair.
Two aspects in particular were explored: ways to reduce costs while simultaneously improving quality of care to people living with HIV; and how to improve grant effectiveness targeting prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and pediatric AIDS treatment through promoting integrated efforts.
Participants also discussed how the Global Fund can achieve higher impact in its investments and play a more effective role as a financing instrument and a partnership in supporting a comprehensive approach to HIV.
Mr Sidibé outlined the challenges needed to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support which include country owned and evidence driven responses grounded in human rights. He spoke of the key role the Global Fund plays in this.
The Global fund is a key partner in the global movement to achieve universal access. It is among the most innovative and results-driven health financing mechanisms ever established.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé
“The Global fund is a key partner in the global movement to achieve universal access. It is among the most innovative and results-driven health financing mechanisms ever established,” said Mr Sidibé.
Mr Sidibé referred to UNAIDS Outcome Framework emphasizing the importance for UNAIDS —Secretariat and Cosponsors— to focus on areas where it has a comparative advantage and can make a difference to accelerate progress in AIDS and strengthen synergies with the other Millennium Development Goals.
The session considered how to address the increasing costs of meeting the treatment needs of people living with HIV, and identified the need for significant success in preventing new infections in order to get ahead of the AIDS epidemic.
The two day board meeting also included a review of strategy in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity and a presentation of a five-year evaluation report examining partnerships at global and country levels and impact these relationships have on the successful implementation of Global Fund grants. Recognizing the overall achievements of the Global Fund in its first six years, the evaluation highlighted a number of areas where it suggests improvements are required in the establishment of more effective partnerships.
The Global Fund is the world's largest funding mechanism of programmes addressing AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. A total of US$ 15.6 billion has been approved for programmes in 140 countries and with expected disbursements of US$ 2.9 billion in 2009.