Message from Laurent Vigier, President of Friends of the Global Fund Europe

2022: a year of upheaval

Alongside the Seventh Global Fund Replenishment, 2022 witnessed myriad events, in Europe and throughout the world, that intensified pre-existing obstacles on the path to meeting the financial goal set by the Global Fund for the next three years to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, strengthen health systems and prepare the world for future pandemics.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, inflaming political and economic tensions that continue to undermine national ODA budgets while imperilling the health system in Ukraine, an epicentre of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The Global Fund sprang into action as the very first shots were fired, supporting Ukrainian civil society organisations by providing the necessary health and humanitarian assistance, as is has done in other crisis-ridden countries and regions, through its emergency fund and specific programmes designed for challenging operating environments.

Climate disasters – floods, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, etc. – also grew in number and severity, underscoring the conviction that global development issues cannot be addressed in silos; rather, their interconnected nature must encourage collective approaches and actions in terms of solidarity and international cooperation.


Sustained advocacy for the Global Fund Replenishment, with many challenges to be met

On February 23 and 24, five African countries – South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Senegal – launched the Global Fund Replenishment campaign and publicised the Global Fund’s investment case, with the unprecedented yet essential goal of raising at least USD18 billion for the 2023-2025 period.

Friends of the Global Fund Europe clearly recognised the need to respond to the Global Fund’s appeal and meet the funding needs calculated. Our strategy and our advocacy vis-a-vis the donor countries in which Fund Europe operates were built around pursuit of this goal.

Throughout the year, we mobilised and worked closely with policymakers and other stakeholders to secure a significant increase in their contributions, aiming for a 30% average increase in pledges compared to the financial target of USD14 billion set for the Sixth Replenishment campaign.

This campaign took place in a context of palpable uncertainty, as the political environment in Germany, France and Italy was entering uncharted waters with national elections or the formation of new governments in all three countries. Moreover, the creation of the Pandemic Fund two weeks before the Global Fund Replenishment Conference accentuated the risk of a fragmented global health architecture.

Despite these many complexities and thanks to steadfast advocacy in the countries where Friends Europe is active, the main European and G7 donors reaffirmed their support for the Global Fund at the Seventh Replenishment Conference, held in September in New York under the auspices of President Biden, announcing substantial increases in their contributions for the coming three years.

Overall, Friends of the Global Fund Europe vigorously welcomed the unprecedented amount of USD15.7 raised through this campaign. Nonetheless, more than USD2 billion must still be found, and we remain alert and active to provide the Global Fund with the financing it needs.


Ongoing deliberations regarding the global health architecture

The COVID-19 pandemic reminded the world that health knows no borders and that the fight against communicable diseases requires coordinated mobilisation of financial resources, scientific expertise, and planning and implementation capacities – as is the case of the Global Fund – that go beyond issues directly related to health.

Efforts to mobilise the international community on matters of prevention, preparedness and response to future pandemics have refocussed attention on the vital need for cross-cutting cooperation, at every level, to address development issues. Indeed, if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 – assuming they are still achievable – we must act now, in a spirit of conviction, unity and solidarity.

In the end, our overarching objective is and must be to strive for a better world, a world of peace for future generations.