AHF Blasts Global Fund For Lowering Fundraising Targets To Combat Epidemics

World’s largest AIDS organization calls on Global Fund to intensify efforts to increase contributions from donors

LOS ANGELES (January 6, 2015) — AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today denounced the $13 billion fundraising goal recently announced by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) for the Fifth Replenishment round spanning 2017-2019 as lacking in ambition and low in expectations.

“The Global Fund is intentionally setting the bar low right out of the gate, in expectation of another funding shortfall before the fundraising has even begun, instead of taking charge and assertively soliciting existing donors for more money and new contributions from the holdouts,” said Loretta Wong, AHF Senior Director of Global Advocacy and Policy. “There’s no place for such a dire sense of defeatism at a time when, by the Global Fund’s own admission, the need for new money will peak by 2020. Now is the time for the Global Fund to step up and refuse to sit back and accept whatever is handed down. Millions of lives are at stake!”

For over half a decade, GFATM fundraising targets have steadily declined while the actual amounts raised have remained virtually flat. In 2010, GFATM set a target of $20 billion as the best-case scenario—which would have allowed it to grow existing programs and fund new ones—and $13 billion as a bare minimum needed to keep existing programs open. It managed to raise just short of $12 billion. For the 2014-2016 replenishment, GFATM lowered the target to $15 billion and only raised $12 billion. For the upcoming round, the target has been lowered once again to $13 billion.

“The Global Fund’s actions seem to inexplicably contradict its own strategic direction and data on funding gaps,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF. “Setting progressively less ambitious fundraising targets has been a matter of course at the Global Fund for quite some time now, even though its ‘Strategy 2012-2016: Investing for Impact’ plan explicitly calls on the Fund to ‘attract additional funding from current and new sources.’”

According to the Global Fund Observer, which cites GFATM data, even with combined funding from domestic budgets, the GFATM and other donors, the world will face a funding gap of $19.5 billion in the fight against the three epidemics between 2017 and 2019. This development comes on the heels of new World Health Organization (WHO) HIV testing and treatment guidelines that will vastly expand the availability of testing and treatment eligibility. As a result, demand for these crucial services will increase around the world and require even more funding.

“The Global Fund Board must lead by example in drumming up support and money for fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Setting a low goal sends the wrong message to the donors,” said Terri Ford, AHF Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy. “The Global Fund is an indispensable part of the global response to these epidemics. By virtue of its position and lifesaving work, it has an obligation to set ambitious fundraising targets and press the donors with utmost urgency to meet and exceed them.”