20 May 2019
The Developing Country NGO Delegation participated actively in the biannual Board Meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, held on 15 and 16 May 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. We advocated for human rights and gender to be embedded across the Fund’s work, ensuring that investments are allocated to where they are most needed and can have the most impact on our targets, and oversight of programming. Our statement covers our position on Strategic Objective 3, allocation methodology and catalytic investments, the involvement of civil society in the Fund, and introducing our new delegation leadership.
Embedding human rights and gender to reach Strategic Objective 3
It is recognised that promoting and protecting human rights is essential to ensure that countries can control their epidemics, scale up where needed, and sustain their gains, and that human rights barriers, stigma and discrimination undermine an effective response to the three diseases, as outlined in the Global Fund Strategy for 2017-2022.
Included in the operational objectives for Strategic Objective 3 of the Fund to promote and protect human right and gender equality is to integrate human rights considerations throughout the grant cycle and in policies and policy-making processes. At the 41stBoard Meeting, our delegation raised vocal concerns about the underperformance of the Fund on indicators related to human rights and gender equality. We called for human rights and gender to be embedded in all activities and strategies across the Fund, including in grant-making, audit considerations and in decision-making.
Allocating investments where they are most needed
The decisions taken at the 41st Board Meeting on Allocation Methodology and Catalytic Investments for 2020 – 2022 are the two most important factors to the Fund achieving its goals.
While our delegation appreciates that the Global Fund’s allocation model is maturing, we stressed that given the importance of the allocation methodology in ensuring that the Fund’s investments deliver on the goals of our Strategy, we must ensure that the methodology provides funds where they are most needed, in a modality that results in impact. Regarding the disease split, we urged that for the next Allocation Methodology, the allocation for TB specifically is increased, based on a thorough analysis of the disease burden and the current funding that is available for TB globally. We called for this necessary increase to meet the targets and commitments of the TB High Level Meeting (HLM) and the goal to end TB by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development goals. Given that the current disease split does not address the severe underfunding of TB at the global level, we recommended that a solution is found allowing countries to maximise their TB allocation, and using HIV allocation for integrated HIV/TB interventions, based on the countries’ epidemiological context.
We also reiterated that Catalytic Investments should address the areas of performance that are underperforming or are not being achieved, as a starting point of the prioritisation for Catalytic Investments. We urged that the work with key populations, adolescent girls and young women, harm reduction interventions and human rights be a priority for the Fund and should attract more, not less, funding at all funding levels of the Catalytic Investment scenarios.
Going forward, we will work with the Strategy Committee to incorporate our recommendations on the Qualitative Adjustments to be included in the deliberations of the 10thStrategy Committee meeting in July 2019.
Representing civil society at the Global Fund
Our delegation raised at the Board Table the concerns regarding the sustainability of harm reduction programming. This issue was brought to the delegation in a letter from Harm Reduction International and a number of civil society organizations regarding underfunded harm reduction activities globally, and in particular in the Russian Federation. We also raised the request from civil society in the Russian Federation that the Global Fund ensure that Russia receives an allocation for HIV in 2019 to directly finance the HIV response measures being undertaken by non-governmental and civil society organizations for the next three years, in accordance with the Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy. We appreciate these inputs from civil society and will keep pushing for the sustainability of HIV, TB and malaria programmes, especially in transitioning countries, as a priority.
Our delegation also stressed the importance of meaningful involvement of civil society in the 6th Replenishment efforts, to ensure that the Global Fund raises a minimum of US$ 14 billion to sustain and carry forward the gains made in by the Fund so far. Lastly, we expressed our appreciation of the accountable manner in which the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) operates and for the office’s meeting with civil society during country audits.
Change in Delegation Leadership
We are pleased to have appointed Dr Andriy Klepikov and Dr Carolyn Gomes as our new Board Member and Alternate Board Member respectively. Andriy brings over two decades of innovative and ambitious leadership in HIV and TB, and broader health and human rights areas and working with civil society. He is the founding Executive Director of the Alliance for Public Health, one the largest HIV and TB focused NGOs in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe which also manages one of the largest harm reduction programmes globally in partnership with field-level NGOs reaching with services to over 200 000 people who inject drugs annually.
“It is an honour to lead the Developing Country NGO delegation, which has a legacy of being a powerful voice at the Board table. At the time of approaching global 2020 milestones we will be aiming to strengthen civil society role, and to prioritize human rights and gender equality, oversight and financial efficiency at the Global Fund,” says Andriy.
Dr Carolyn Gomes has worked in in human rights and health for more than three decades, with a focus on the rights of key populations and has a distinguished record as a human rights advocate, including being the recipient of the United Nations Human Rights Award in 2008 and being conferred with the Order of Jamaica. As former Executive Director of Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), Carolyn was the chief spokesperson helping to determine and drive its strategic direction, vision and work in policy analysis, advocacy and resource mobilization to support the scale up of services to vulnerable communities and to build capacity among the regional network of civil society actors.
“It is a critical time for the Global Fund- we cannot continue with business as usual if we are to end the three epidemics. Our delegation will continue to work tirelessly to lead with this example, and continue to build on our strong foundation as an effective delegation to the Global Fund Board,” says Carolyn.
The strong leadership of Allan Maleche as Board Member, and Dr Edona Deva, as Alternate Board Member, was commended during the closing of the Board Meeting and they were recognised for the legacy they leave behind, especially regarding the promotion and protection of human rights and issues related to sustainability, transitioning and co-financing.
Find the Statement on the 41st Board Meeting from the Global Fund here
The Developing Country NGO delegation to the Board of the Global Fund is a voting constituency that represents NGOs from the developing world, serving those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, TB, & Malaria. The delegation seeks to influence decisions and policies to ensure strategic, continuous and appropriate responsiveness to the needs of those affected by the three diseases and the NGOs providing services to them. For more information or to arrange a call or submit a letter, please contact Lesley Odendal, Constituency Focal Point, Developing Country NGO delegation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Fund Strategy for 2017-2022.Available at: https://www.theglobalfund.org/media/2531/core_globalfundstrategy2017-2022_strategy_en.pdf