As Brett pointed out at the end of 2011, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria (GFATM) recently had to cancel a new round of grants because funding has severely declined, and commitments made by donor countries have yet to materialize. As a result of the lack of funding, progress in many countries against the three diseases will be crippled until GFATM has the resources it needs. According to Medecins Sans Frontieres, 500 people marched in Nairobi on January 30th to protest the lack of funding for GFATM, which will directly impact people in Kenya. The Executive Director of the Global Fund, Michel Kazatchkine (in the picture above), also resigned last week.
In his resignation letter, Kazatchkine wrote,
Today, the Global Fund stands at a cross-road. In the international political economy, power-balances are shifting and new alignments of countries and decision-making institutions are emerging or will have to be developed to achieve global goals. Within the area of global health, the emergency approaches of the past decade are giving way to concerns about how to ensure long-term sustainability, while at the same time, efficiency is becoming a dominant measure of success.
“It is almost possible to hear Kazatchkine spitting out the words ‘sustainability’ and ‘efficiency’,” wrote long-time HIV journalist Laurie Garret in a recent analysis of GFATM’s current situation in Nature, titled, “Global health hits crisis point.”
In response to some of the recent news coverage of GFATM, the clever Auntie Retroviral has created a video to educate viewers on ‘Global Fund Villains’ – the people and issues which the Global Fund has dealt with in trying to ensure people around the world have access to life-saving medicine.