As 2021 started, the Global Fund Advocates Network Asia-Pacific (GFAN AP) continued our engagements alongside national and regional partners to shape the Post-2022 Strategy of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

At the same time, we continued our work supporting resource mobilisation efforts of the Global Fund, and with country partners in the development of Investment Cases to strengthen advocacy efforts towards mobilising domestic resources for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) focused in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Plans to consolidate regional messages for the Seventh Global Fund Replenishment and for further advocacy efforts on domestic resource mobilisation on UHC and the three diseases will be imperative as COVID-19 continues to impact our livelihoods and health systems. More information will be available towards the 4th quarter of 2021.

GFAN AP has also been actively engaging in the C20 platform on the International Advisory Committee as well as in the Global Health Working Group – supporting efforts and messages in shaping equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics, through human-rights based, gender inclusive, people-centred approaches.

Inside this issue, we highlight our work from January through May 2021 with our partners on:

      • The Global Fund Post-2022 Strategy
      • Involvement on the Civil 20
      • Support towards Youth Engagement
      • Appreciation to the United States for its contributions towards the Global Fund C19 RM
      • High Level Symposium on South Korea’s leadership on Global Health in the COVID-19 era and beyond
      • High-Level Independent Panel for Financing for the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response
      • World Malaria Day – “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria”

The Global Fund That We Still Want

GFAN AP an APCASO, host of the Asia-Pacific Community, Rights and Gender Platform (APCRG) released “The Global Fund That We Still Want” statement, endorsed by over 3,500 community and civil society representatives. The statement is an outcome of 14 community and civil society consultations held from December 2020 through February 2021 on the Post-2022 Global Fund Strategy.

“The Global Fund That We Still Want” calls for scaling up investments in community, rights and gender (CRG) approaches and interventions as fundamental components of health responses. It further emphasis on continued and scaled-up investments in community systems strengthening (CSS) as a cornerstone for resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH). Specifically it calls for a Post-2022 Global Fund Strategy:

    • To put the money where its mouth is on CRG and CSS;
    • To effectively fulfil its mandate on HIV, TB and Malaria, first and foremost;
    • To continue to put CRG and CSS approaches as cornerstones of pandemic and health emergency responses;
    • That is truly global – one that does not leave key, vulnerable, and marginalised communities behind, regardless of their country income classification; and
    • That is fully resourced.

This statement was sent ahead of the Partnership Forum held for the Asia, the pacific and the Middle East regions that took place on 3rd – 5th March 2021, and also to Global Fund Board ahead of the 15th Strategy Committee Meeting to share priorities from communities and civil society for the Post-2022 Global Fund Strategy.

GFAN AP with APCASO, host of the APCRG co-convened a strategising meeting on the 26th February 2021 with communities and civil society partners attending the Partnership Forum held for the region to provide participants with information to navigate the Partnership Forum; review key regional positions; discuss related advocacy interventions and strategies during the Partnership Forum; and agree on online communications during the Partnership Forum. This was followed by a discussion session with the Board constituencies of South East Asia and Western Pacific Region to explore common issues and strengthen collective advocacy messages during and beyond the Partnership Forums.

A debrief meeting was also organised to debrief on the outcomes of the three-day Partnership Forum, where communities and civil society colleagues shared concerns and feedback on the Partnership Forum and agreed on next steps.

Involvement on the Civil 20 (C20)

GFAN AP continues to engage actively in the Civil 20 (C20) Global Health Working Group, a formal engagement group of the G20. Alongside Stefania Burbo (C20 Chair and Focal point and Advocacy Officer for the Global Health Italian Network) and Kurt Frieder (President of Foundation Huesped, Argentina), Rachel Ong (GFAN AP Regional Coordinator) coordinates the Global health Working Group.

This continues GFAN AP’s engagement in the C20 since Japan hosted the G20 in 2018, working alongside and closely with the Africa Japan Forum then on the C20 Health Working Group and subsequently when Saudi Arabia hosted the G20 in 2020.

Engagement with the G20 is one of the priority work areas of GFAN AP as Indonesia will be hosting the G20 in 2022 – the year where the Global Fund will be hosting its Seventh Replenishment, and India will be hosting the G20 in 2023.

For more information on statements released from the C20 Global Health Working Group, please click here.

Support towards Youth Engagement

The Global Fund Youth Council was established following the Global Fund Sixth Replenishment in 2019, in Lyon, France to provide insight into the needs and challenges young people face in relation to HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and, more broadly, to other aspects of their health and well-being. GFAN AP supported the Global Fund to facilitate the establishment of the Youth Council through our engagement in supporting youth participation at the Global Fund Sixth Replenishment.

In April, ahead of the Global Fund Youth Council meeting for the Global Fund post-2022 strategy, GFAN AP convened the Asia-Pacific members of the Global Fund Youth Council for a strategizing meeting on the Global Fund post-2022 strategy development and community priorities.

During the strategizing meeting, GFAN AP provided an overview of the priorities of the “The Global Fund That We Still Want” brief and key thematic areas surrounding the Global Fund post-2022 strategy. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Asia-pacific Youth Council members to discuss the Asia-Pacific youth concerns for the Global Fund post-2022 strategy and strategize their engagement at the Youth Council meeting for the Global Fund post-2022 strategy development.

GFAN AP continues to support the Youth Council in its work, as well as engages with the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in their efforts to increase the engagement of youth to draw the line against malaria.

 

Appreciation to the United States for its contributions towards the Global Fund C19 RM

 

 

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On 11th March, the United States contributed emergency funding of US$3.5 billion towards the Global Fund C19 RM to expand COVID-19 testing capacities in low- and middle-income countries, and the provision of personal protect equipment to health care workers, ensuring further support for those infected to access care and treatment (including adequate oxygen supplies).

GFAN AP mobilised national, regional and global partners to sign on to a letter of appreciation, garnering over 750 signatures over three days to thank the U.S. and the Biden-Harris Administration. The U.S. has been the largest donor to the Global Fund since its establishment in 2002 and this contribution demonstrated its commitment to ensure that HIV, TB and malaria responses remain on track amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

High-Level Symposium on Korea’s Leadership on Global Health in the COVID-19 era and beyond

Held on 31st March 2021, the High-Level Symposium on Korea’s Leadership on Global Health in the COVID-19 era and beyond was co-organised by the Korean Advocates for Global Health (KAGH) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea; the Global Fund; RBM Partnership to End Malaria; and Malaria No More.

The Symposium featured distinguished speakers that joined in person and virtually – including H.E. Ban Ki Moon (Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations), H.E. Choi Jong-Moon (Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea), Peter Sands (Executive Director, Global Fund), Birgit Pickel (Director General for Global Health, Pandemic Preparedness and One Health from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Rachel Ong, Regional Coordinator of GFAN AP and Co-Facilitator of the C20 Global Health Working Group spoke in Panel I – An integrated approach to global pandemic response. She emphasised key priorities, issues and barriers to ensure equitable access and rights-based global health responses, and for increased investments and political support towards community systems.

Click here to watch the recording of the Symposium, and here for the Press Release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea.

 

High-Independent Panel for Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response

The High-Level Independent Panel for Financing for the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (HLIP) was proposed by the Italian G20 Presidency and established by G20 members in January 2021 at the First G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting to identify the gaps in the financing system for the global commons for pandemic prevention, surveillance, preparedness and response; and proposing actionable solutions to meet these gaps on a systematic and sustainable basis.

On 12th April 2021, the HLIP convened a consultation with a group of leaders from international CSOs, private sector, and philanthropy with relevant experience in the areas of global health and pandemic financing to seek feedback from participants on the initial themes and ideas emerging from the first three Panel meetings. Specifically, participants were asked to respond to the following guiding questions during their interventions in the discussion:

      • How can financing be strengthened to advance national-level pandemic preparedness and response?
      • How should the global health and financing architecture be governed and coordinated to promote more timely and effective pandemic preparedness and response?
      • How can the international community best address critical financing gaps to improve global pandemic preparedness and response in R&D for non-vaccine medical countermeasures; “ever-warm” manufacturing, stockpiling, and distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, PPE, and other critical response tools and supplies; and disease outbreak surveillance, data, and benefits sharing?

Dr Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Executive Director of the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives and Chair of GFAN AP Steering Committee was a speaker on the panel calling for more investments in community systems for a truly sustainable health system to support pandemic preparedness and responses, and emphasised that loans (and loan buy-downs) are not mechanisms that are effective domestic health responses in the longer-term. Oanh also emphasised the important role that the Global Fund has played with its investments in communities and civil society through community systems strengthening in the last decade in Vietnam.

The HLIP will be submitting its final report to the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in July 2021. For more information, click here.

Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria

The Global Civil Society for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME) co-organised a World Malaria Day Event with the World Health Organization, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Impact Santé Afrique, Plateforme ELSA, and ACOMIN on the 20th April 2021. Participation from the Asia-Pacific region included Dr Shampa Nag, CS4ME Steering Committee Member and Member of the India Working Group for Health Advocacy; Shreehari Acharya, CS4ME Steering Committee Member and Project Malaria Free Mekong; and Rachel Ong, Regional Coordinator of GFAN AP.

Key calls during the event included the need to increase community engagement beyond community health workers in the advocacy space of malaria; ensuring sustainable financing for malaria prevention, diagnostics and treatment at the national and global levels; and supporting countries to meet co-financing requirements of Global Fund grants for malaria.