The history of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis—a partnership of governments, civil society and the private sector set up to fight these three diseases—is distinguished by remarkable achievements, such as the 27 million lives saved since the fund was set up in 2002. However, the organisation also faces very difficult challenges in the coming years.
The Global Fund’s Executive Director, Peter Sands, presented the organisation’s latest results report at ISGlobal’s offices in Madrid last Tuesday, the 18th of September. The report highlights the achievements of the programs supported by the Fund in 2017, which put 17.5 million people with HIV on antiretroviral therapy, tested and treated 5 million people for tuberculosis, and distributed 197 million mosquito nets designed to prevent malaria in areas where the disease is endemic.
In his presentation, the Director emphasised that “Despite all the achievements outlined in this report, if we want to meet the health targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3 and win the battle against these three diseases, we must make changes. At the moment, progress is not being made fast enough. Essentially, what we have to do in the future is to continue what we are already doing, but on a much larger scale. We have the tools, but everyone will have to contribute more.”
The Global Fund receives almost four billion dollars a year from public and private donors to fight these three diseases, but this budget is not sufficient for the task. In the past, Spain was an important partner of the Global Fund, with an investment of 724 million dollars between 2003 and 2010 making it one of the ten top donors at that time. However, in the last eight years it has made no contribution to the Fund. There is a consensus among all the parliamentary groups and political leaders in Spain on the importance and relevance of Spain once again becoming a net donor. During his visit to Madrid, Peter Sands’ also met with several representatives of the Spanish Government to open the dialogue about the future.