Yesterday, President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal was released and protects Global Fund funding by maintaining a US$1.65 billion contribution. This fantastic news follows on from the finalized 2013 budget which fulfilled the Obama Administration’s 3-year $4 billion pledge to the Global Fund.
This really is a monumental announcement. In the past decade, the Global Fund has achieved outstanding progress in the fight against the three biggest infectious killers. The Fund has saved millions of lives through the provision of anti-retroviral treatment and insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
The Global Fund has also dramatically changed the trajectory of TB having helped detect and treat 9.7 million new cases of TB in the past ten years alone. There is no doubt that the Global Fund makes a significant impact in saving the lives of millions.
It is critical that these successes continue. In a Needs Assessment document, for the period 2014-2016, released this week, the Global Fund Secretariat estimated that it would need US$15 billion to help fight the three diseases. The Global Fund states:
This sum, together with an estimated US$37 billion from domestic sources and US$24 billion from other international sources, would allow partners to move decisively toward a tipping point in controlling the three epidemics, turning them into manageable health problems instead of global emergencies.
The announcements to come out of the U.S. mean that considerable progress has already been made on reaching the US$15 billion goal. In September, donors will convene for the Global Fund’s fourth replenishment. Now that the U.S. has requested US$1.65 billion for 2014 there will undoubtedly be a push for a pledge of US$ 5 billion for the 2014-2016 period. This would mark a third of the Global Fund’s US$ 15 billion target.
We hope that other governments, including ours in the UK, take note. The most fiscally conservative Congress in recent political history has approved a huge increase to the Global Fund because they recognise the significant impact it has in saving lives.
Historically, the UK Government has been a leading example in meeting its pledges on time and in full. We are urging the UK Government and Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, to announce at least a doubling in new financial contributions for life saving prevention and treatment for 2014-2016 at the Global Fund Replenishment meeting in September. As Mark Dybul has said: “Invest now or pay forever”.