Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Global Fund Replenishment provides the first test of the MDG promises


Mother & baby in Cote D'Ivoire © Nell Freeman for the Alliance

Two weeks after the MDG Summit in New York, on the evening of the 5th of October, we will see the results of the first test of world leaders’ promises to step up efforts to hit the ambitious Millennium Development Goals when the final total of the Global Fund’s third replenishment is announced.

The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria is one of the most successful tools of international development, saving around 5.7 million lives since its creation. It has got 2.5 million people on to HIV treatment, detected and treated six million cases of TB and distributed over 100 million bed nets. That equates to 4000 lives saved every day.

To continue the job, the size of the figure announced on October 5th will be of critical importance. We are calling for a total replenishment of $20bn to cover 2011-13 – make or break years for the MDGs. With a $20bn replenishment the Fund could get up to 7.5 million people onto ARVs; distribute 190 million bednets and treat 6.8 million people for TB annually. Twenty billion would put us on course for meeting the malaria MDG two years early and could mean virtually no children being born with HIV by 2015.

However, these impressive results need to be paid for, and as governments grapple with ongoing economic woes their commitment to paying for their promises could be tested. The UK’s fair share of the $20bn is £840m. It is essential that the new government demonstrates its commitment to the health of the most vulnerable and leads the world in a successful replenishment.

More than ever, people want to see results for their investments, the new leaders at DFID included. As the new government assesses the value for money of UK’s contributions to multi-lateral aid institutions none can match the Fund’s evidence of results or transparency of operations. Let’s hope those achievements are rewarded in October and our leaders make the grade.

The Alliance has been a recipient of the Global Fund grants since its outset in 2002, managing 11 grants as Principal Recipients in six countries (Cote D’Ivoire, Ecuador, India, Nigeria, Senegal and Ukraine) and implementing projects as sub-recipients in 13 other countries. This amounts over US$380 million.

In the last round, the Alliance developed proposals to the Global Fund, either as principal recipient or sub-recipient, and provided technical support in 13 countries and four regions. Global Fund replenishment is essential to the continued work of some Alliance programmes such as implementing programmes to prevent mother to child transmission (PMTCT) in Senegal, where 250,000 pregnant women have received information on PMTCT through community services between June 2007 to June 2010.

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    $20bn could mean virtually no children being born with HIV by 2015