On 11 July 2019 GFAN Africa held a day of action and called on the Canadian Government to increase its investment in the Global Fund.
Canada hosted the 5th replenishment of the Global Fund. However, up until July, less than 100 days to the replenishment conference, Canada a global health leader has not made a pledge for the 6th replenishment of the Global fund. 2019 is an election year for Canada and this presents a possibility of Canada’s attention being diverted away from global health.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his speech during the 5th replenishment stated that Canada will continue to champion the important work being done to end these epidemics (HIV, TB and malaria) so that our world’s most vulnerable can turn their efforts to growing their communities and supporting their families…. These circumstances informed GFAN Africa’s decision to run a campaign targeting Canada.
Members of GFAN Africa wrote a letter and shared it with their members across Africa. In the letter, we acknowledged and appreciated that Canada is one of the top donors in the fight to end the epidemics of HIV, TB, and malaria and a firm promoter of gender equality and human rights. The Global Fund is asking donors to increase their pledge by at least 15% to raise at least US$14 billion, the minimum amount necessary so that countries get back on track to defeat HIV, TB, and malaria by 2030 in line with SDG 3 on the health and wellbeing for all. In this regard, we asked Canada to make an increased pledge of CAD 925 million for 2020 – 2022.
Members then presented the letter to Canadian Embassies and High Commissions in their own countries on 11 July 2019. In addition, GFAN Africa prepared campaign posters and used them to take photos and post them on social media. In countries where there are no Canadian Embassies and High Commissions, members delivered or sent the letter to the Embassy located in a neighboring country.
A total of 16 countries participated in the campaign namely: Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, DRC and Central Africa Republic. Participants of a meeting in Rwanda on developing and implementing of single TB/HIV concept notes and participants of the AHF Global Advocacy and marketing summit in Los Angeles, USA also joined in the online campaign.
Canadian advocates have been working on the Canadian government to increase the Canadian pledge and are calling for a 1 billion Canadian commitment. Part of their efforts included bringing GFAN Speaker, Loyce Maturu to Canada to speak about the importance of the Global Fund.
Canadian Advocates appreciated the increased voices from GFAN Africa partners in calling for the Canadian Government to Get Back on Track, Step Up the Fight and increase its investment in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.