Guadalajara, Mexico — The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, also known as The Union, announced a partnership agreement to deepen their shared commitment to end tuberculosis as an epidemic.
As part of the partnership agreement, made public at the opening session of the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Guadalajara, Mexico, the Global Fund and The Union will explore innovative financing instruments to galvanize resources among the private sector to reach the global goal of ending the epidemic by 2030.
The joint project will also entail a fundraising campaign to encourage individuals, corporations, foundations and other private entities to make contributions to support the united goal to eliminate TB.
"To achieve the global goal of ending TB as an epidemic and prevent a potential health disaster from the growing threat of drug-resistant TB we need to come up with creative ways of working together to mobilize resources," said José Luis Castro, Executive Director of The Union. "As major global partners for TB we will be sharing our expertise in developing innovative financing instruments."
Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations of the Global Fund, said the agreement was an example of the Global Fund's efforts to build innovative platforms for a broad coalition of partners beyond traditional donors.
"Traditional models of financing are not sufficient for the push needed to fund global health programs," Dr. Benn said. "If we create new platforms and space for new players, we can accelerate the progress we have seen in TB in the past two decades."
Through various arrangements that leverage private sector expertise, resources and practices, the Global Fund has been engaging new partners such as impact investors, high net-worth individuals, sovereign wealth and pension funds, banks and asset management companies, and development finance institutions. These new models build on the Global Fund's founding principle of bringing together governments, civil society, the private sector, foundations, philanthropists and people affected by the diseases to mobilize and invest nearly US$4 billion a year to support health programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Global Fund and The Union, the key benefitting countries of the fundraising will be India, Myanmar and Zimbabwe, which are among WHO's list of 30 high TB burden countries.
Both parties agreed to explore potential opportunities in innovative financial instruments that could include social impact bonds, philanthropic investment funds, and TB loan buy-downs in India. The Global Fund and The Union will also collaborate on advocacy for the Global Fund's mission and the case for strategic investments in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria.
Programs supported by the Global Fund have saved 22 million lives. Since it was established in 2002 as a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, Global Fund-supported programs have provided 17.4 million people with testing and treatment for TB.
Created in 1920, The Union is a global scientific organization with the mission to improve the health of people living in poverty. The Union conducts scientific research, works with governments and other agencies to translate research into better health for people around the world, and delivers projects directly in the field. The Union is made up of a membership body of people around the world who help to advance its mission, and a scientific institute that implements public health projects within countries.
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