Reuters reports that the Global Fund has been seeking a wider donor base. Looking toward the wider G20 membership, “Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), said in an interview that nations such as China, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa may now be in a position to offer a hand to poorer countries that need help.”
The search for more funding is spurred not only by the economic problems facing the core G8 donors, but by the fact that the other G20 members themselves have larger economies now and should share in supporting global efforts to curb these diseases. With the Global Fund facing a US$ 3-4 billion shortfall, involving more donor partners is essential.
The chart at the left shows country donors to the Global Fund and is derived from GFATM data available on their website.Â One can see that the G8 makes up the bulk of pledges (77%) and payments (76%) at present.Â The European Union itself, plus 15 other non-G8 members provide 20% of pledges and 21% of payments since inception.
Only seven of eleven G20 members who are neither G8 and EU were mentioned by name (Australia, Brazil, China, India, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia), and that group pledged and contributed only about one percent of the total country donations to the GFATM since inception.Â The remaining four G20 members may have contributed and their amounts were grouped under ‘other’.
Kazatchkine observed that G20 members are taking on a greater international political role, and believes they should also take on greater health and development roles.Â He explained that, “I really think it is time for the G20, which is 85 percent of the world’s economy, to come into the circle of donors. The Global Fund has to expand. China is an obvious example, I know South Korea is quite prepared to come in as a donor.”
Kazatchkine reminds us that HIV, malaria and TB are not in recession, so the G20 countries, many of whom are endemic for the three diseases, should not let economics be an excuse for shirking their expected contributions toward controlling these diseases.