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Minister discusses health financing at Global Fund meeting

By Ministry of Health

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(PRESS RELEASE) – Saint Lucia’s Minister for Health and Wellness and Board Member for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Constituency of the Global Fund Board, Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac recently attended the 42nd Board Meeting of the Global Fund Board in Geneva, Switzerland from November 14 to 15. On behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean, she thanked the Executive Director for his second annual report to the Board and also congratulated him and all partners on a successful replenishment exercise.

In his report, the Executive Director stated that “we make better progress on reducing mortality than on reducing incidence.” The Honorable Senator, on behalf of LAC, supported this view and emphasized that “saving lives is essential, but to end the epidemics, and thus save countless future lives, we must scale up effective prevention.” The LAC Constituency encouraged the Global Fund Secretariat to take this into consideration as they prepare to allocate resources to countries that are expected to deliver results with reduced funding while their governments continue to fill the gap in funding to prevent resurgence. The LAC Constituency further highlighted the need to find innovative approaches and create innovative Global Fund allocation mechanisms specific for countries “ending the epidemic.” The thrust to enhance efficiency and effectiveness was welcomed.

Given the successful replenishment, the LAC Constituency looked forward to delivering results with those funds and underscored the need to protect components that experienced large reductions. Also, given the large number of reduced components currently foreseen, even within the higher scenario, qualitative adjustments will be critical to ensure that reductions are not too sudden or too steep. Further, those adjustments should include regional, contextual factors to capture the potential risk of resurgence as experienced with other disease elimination as well as considerations for sustainability and transition.

The LAC Constituency believes that the Global Fund should support countries to strengthen collaborative approaches by Ministries of Health and Finance to identify and exploit synergies for cross-sectoral financing and to direct domestic resources to institutionalize Civil Society Organizations’ (CSO’s) efforts under national programmes.

There was acknowledgement of the successful implementation of the Venezuela Grant and the monitoring support provided by CSOs. The LAC Constituency appreciated the award of a second grant and the decision regarding Venezuela’s eligibility for a Malaria Grant from 2020. There was a call for all partners to support and fund the master plan.

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