Statement at the 7th Replenishment Preparatory Meeting from the Communities, Developing NGO and Developed NGO Delegations to the Global Fund Board
Delivered by Javier Hourcade Bellocq, Board Member – Communities Delegation
On behalf of the three Civil Society delegations to the Global Fund Board, first, we would like to extend our solidarity to our many friends and colleagues caught in the horror of war. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and communities who will suffer the grave consequences of this.
Our delegations would like to share the following comments:
The Global Fund is a unique institution where civil society and communities are engaged and participate decision-making at all levels. However, twenty years in, civil society and communities (including key populations) continue to face systemic challenges in strategic oversight and implementation of grants.
In line with our new Strategy, we must ensure that the funds mobilized in this replenishment will significantly reinforce our meaningful participation across the partnership. Assuring functioning CCMs that provide local ownership, enable better integration of services and mobilize domestic investments is critical to sustaining the response.
All global strategies approved to end AIDS, TB and malaria in the last two years put people and communities at the center of the response. Beyond the role of beneficiaries, we remain the only tool to reach the most excluded, stigmatized and criminalized people. Our community systems are an essential part of the national health system.
Over the past eighteen months, we have been vocal about the need to create a separate funding stream for communities. It is our duty to guarantee that community-led organizations will be adequately resourced to continue and scale up advocacy and monitoring work, including removing legal-related barriers that hinder access to health.
Echoing the messages we have heard at this meeting and in the partnership forums, the Global Fund will not deviate from its core mandate of ending AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Marginalised communities and populations are the first to suffer the consequences of a global pandemic.
We are the constant reminder that AIDS, TB and malaria do not go away in times of crisis.
COVID19 has damaged our health systems and resulted in significant setbacks, service disruptions, and missed opportunities to make a difference in the fight against the three diseases. There is much to do to get back on track. Still, insufficient access to PPE by community workers is one of many examples of the inequality our communities continue to face.
In conclusion, to fully deliver on our Strategy and address some of these issues already mentioned yesterday by Grace Ngulube and Carolyn Gomes, commitments need to be translated into real figures, real money pledged by donor countries, the private sector and by our governments. We have a road map, the moral commitment to the people waiting for services and a price tag.
We must make sure that we fully resource the Global Fund and understand that the call for at least 18 billion is the floor, not the ceiling. It is a starting point, not an endpoint. There is no other alternative.