After years of discussions, the new Sustainable Development Goals will be adopted in a matter of days. This renewal of global commitments has invigorated debates and offered an opportunity to evaluate how far we’ve come. Thanks in part to the investments channelled by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, progress has been made for MDGs 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health) and 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases). The Global Fund, along with other pooled finance mechanisms, is seen as one of the great successes of the MDGs because of its impact on health – this is why we need to ensure that the Global Fund remains a key and strong player when we start work on the SDGs.
GFAN is also renewing its work in 2015. Organizations in our network may remember Maurine, a women and girls HIV advocate from Kenya and one of our Here I Am Ambassadors during the last Global Fund replenishment campaign. These ambassadors engaged in media events and meetings with government officials and decision makers to share their personal stories of how the Global Fund has helped in their lives and why it’s important to support the Fund. With another replenishment coming up in 2016, we’ve recruited again a group of 8 amazing speakers, including Maurine, from the around the world who represent different populations and diseases. This time, we hope to make our ‘Speakers Bureau’ an ongoing initiative for our members: with the UQD register and varied and changing political cycles, the call for more resources is now a continuous job for advocates. We want to support this work whenever our members want to share a real voice that can speak to the importance of Global Fund commitments.
Maurine will be in New York during the UN General Assembly to take part in our first Speakers Bureau trip and to take our messages forward. “Our lived experiences influenced the commitment by donors to fund the Global Fund during the last replenishment,” explains Maurine. “I am looking forward to sharing my experience again and that of my community based on the lives that the Global Fund has saved.”
“At the UNGA I will emphasise the impact of healthy societies in development and the need for global consolidated efforts to respond to the three epidemics, for donors to continue funding and for implementing countries not only to uphold accountability but also to sustain the gains made by also committing to the HIV, TB and malaria responses by increasing domestic financing. We need to give more to end the epidemics. We need to save lives today to end the epidemics tomorrow.”