The European Parliament’s Committee on Development held an exchange of views on the implementation of health-related Sustainable Development Goals today. Fanny Voitzwinkler of Global Health Advocates and Peter Sands, the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria participated on this timely panel.

The European Union is the midst of working out its budgetary framework for 2021-2027, with the Committee on Development and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, jointly tasked with reaching an agreement as to the Parliament’s position on the Commission’s proposed external action instrument, the NDICI. This new instrument is crucial to what kind of global actor the Union aspires to be. It will have long-lasting implications for the EU’s role in global health.

Mr. Sands briefed the committee on the Fund’s latest results, but warned that more resources are needed to make the gains sustainable and respond effectively to looming threats. Thanks in large part to the European Union and Member States support, the Global Fund partnership has saved 27 million lives. In line with the Union’s main development policy, the European Consensus on Development, the Fund tackles the challenges of accelerating the end of the three epidemics by contributing to universal health coverage outcomes, investing in resilient systems for health and tailored programmes reaching the most vulnerable and key populations, including young women and girls. At the heart of the Global Fund’s mission is the powerful commitment of leaving no one behind. This clearly illustrates the common ground and goals of the Union and the Fund.

Committee members Charles Goerens (ALDE, Luxembourg), Anna Záborská (EPP, Slovakia), Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, Italy) and Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE-NGL, Spain) raised various questions about health system investments, targeting, in a nuanced way, the most vulnerable populations as well as fighting drug resistance, especially in the case of tuberculosis. Concerns about the Commission’s plans to continue and increase support for the Global Fund were also raised.

The Sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund will take place in Lyon, France on October 10, 2019. Resources pledged at that time will help over 100 countries finance national responses (filling a crucial gap in unmet needs and also helping to sustain more domestic spending on health) throughout 2020 – 2022.

A recording of the exchange of views is available on the Committee on Development’s website.