[Ip-health] MSF response to Global Fund decision to cancel Round 11 funding

Joanna Keenan-Siciliano joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Wed Nov 23 01:38:25 PST 2011

Please find below a statement that Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) released
overnight in response to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
board's decision to effectively cancel 2011 Round 11 developing country
proposals due to a lack of funding from wealthy donor countries. The
decision - made at the Global Fund's board meeting in Accra, Ghana - is
unprecedented. MSF is calling on donors to urgently commit funding to the
Global Fund to ensure the continuation of programs.

*Médecins Sans Frontières response to unprecedented decision to cancel
funding round of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, taken at
board meeting in Accra, Ghana, November 21-22, 2011*

NOVEMBER 22, 2011 -- Because donor funding for global HIV/AIDS and the
Global Fund has been declining, the Fund is in the most dire financial
situation it has ever seen since its creation ten years ago.  As a result,
the Global Fund board today decided to effectively cancel its 11th funding
round due to lack of resources – an unprecedented act in its history.

The Global Fund will provide for a ‘transitional funding mechanism,’
whereby countries known to be facing a disruption of programs for HIV, TB
and malaria before 2013 will be offered a chance to apply for funding to
cover their most essential needs. For HIV, this funding can cover medicines
for people already on treatment, but does not provide for scale-up of HIV
treatment. Funding will also be restricted for treatment of drug-resistant
forms of TB.

MSF calls on the Global Fund and donors to immediately raise the resources
necessary for the minimum lifeline the Fund has extended to countries
otherwise facing disruptions this year, as well as providing a new regular
funding opportunity.

The dramatic resource shortfall comes at a time when the latest HIV science
shows that HIV treatment itself not only saves lives, but is also a
critical form of preventing the spread of the virus, and governments are
making overtures that there could be an end to the AIDS epidemic.

Yet on the ground in hard-hit countries where MSF works, the devastating
effects of the overall funding crunch are becoming apparent – for example,
Cameroon and Zimbabwe are facing shortfalls in the near future to support
people already on treatment, and the Democratic Republic of Congo severely
caps the number of people able to start on life-saving HIV treatment. In
other countries, such as Mozambique, funding problems have prevented the
country from providing earlier treatment and better drugs, per
WHO-recommended guidelines. And further countries may have to put important
plans on hold, such as Malawi, which in addition to wanting to scale up HIV
treatment, wants to provide earlier and life-long treatment for all
HIV-positive pregnant women to not only protect their babies, but keep
themselves healthy.  Some countries, including Kenya, Lesotho, and South
Africa, had already been told by the Global Fund that they weren't eligible
to apply for funding from Round 11 because of lacking funding. In those
countries, HIV treatment coverage lies at 52 percent, 66 percent and 49
percent, respectively.

“There’s a shocking incongruence between both the new HIV science and
political promises on one hand, and the funding reality that is now hitting
the ground on the other,” said Dr. Tido von Schoen-Angerer, executive
director of MSF’s Access Campaign.  “Donors are really pulling the rug out
from under people living with HIV/AIDS at precisely the time when we need
to move full steam ahead and get life-saving treatment to more people.  All
governments must chip in to the effort to curb HIV, but especially those
with the capacity to really make a difference must urgently step up and
support a new funding opportunity for countries by the Global Fund.”

Joanna Keenan
Press Officer
Access Campaign
Medecins Sans Frontieres
E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
T: @joanna_keenan


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