On 2 December, GFAN Africa met with Peter Sands the Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on the sidelines of ICASA 2019 Rwanda and had conversations on the 6th replenishment of the Global Fund. The October 2019 replenishment raised $14.028 billion to help save 16 million lives and avert 234 million new HIV, tuberculosis and malaria infections in the next three years.
Peter acknowledged the enormous role that civil society played in advocacy in the run up to the replenishment, which led to increased contributions by implementing countries in Africa and ultimately, to a successful replenishment. A record 24 countries pledged towards the replenishment. In the build up to the replenishment conference, civil society organizations in Africa, had written letters to Presidents, Ministers for Health, Ministers for Finance and Ministers for Foreign Affairs, asking for early and increased contributions towards the replenishment. This is in addition to lobbying donor countries to increase their contributions.
Peter emphasized that the focus of the Global Fund is to save lives and to prevent new infections.
Civil society organizations will give prominence to advocacy for implementing countries to increase their allocation of domestic resources for health. As the Global Fund increases allocations to implementing countries, they must also allocate more resources for health. This calls for long sustained action and ensuring broad spending on health to achieve universal healthcare coverage so that no one is left behind. Emphasis must be on primary healthcare and putting the last first especially those on the outskirts and in far flung areas. To ensure value for money, civil society must look out for where and how money is spent to ensure utmost appropriate use of resources.