The Hague – Peter Sands, Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, recently visited the Netherlands. Sands presented the Global Fund Investment Case for the 2020-2022 replenishment to the parliamentary committee on Foreign Trade and Aid. Following this, he joined a roundtable at the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation head office to discuss the Global Fund’s goals with Dutch partners.
The primary reason for Mr. Sands’ visit to the Netherlands was to advocate an ambitious contribution by the Dutch government for the 6th implementation cycle of the fund for the period 2020-2022. The Netherlands is one of the founders of the Global Fund, operational since 2002. Thanks to this public-private partnership, 27 million lives have been saved. With support from the Global Fund, in 2017 more than 5 million people worldwide were tested and treated for tuberculosis (TB) in countries accessing Global Fund grants.
Together with Kenyan activist Maurine Murenga, sharing how she has been personally affected by HIV and TB, Peter Sands presented the Global Funds’ plans to eliminate AIDS, TB and malaria to the Dutch parliamentary committee on Foreign Trade and Aid. Regarding the investment case – in which the Global Fund asks for a minimum of 14 billion USD – he explained: “We are dealing with three formidable diseases, that have proven to be difficult to eradicate. There is a resource gap. However, at the Global Fund we don’t think small. We think of the overall picture and what it takes to eliminate these diseases. And it will take both tackling the specific diseases and strengthening of health systems.”
To step up the fight
In his presentation, Mr. Sands also paid specific attention to the fight against TB. “If we continue to miss 40% of TB cases, we clearly are not in control of the epidemic. We need to step up the fight. Moreover, multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB is one of the more significant threats to global health security.” Sands reiterated his main message: “The most economical thing to do is to invest more now, and avoid larger costs later. The faster we can lower the infection rate, the faster we can lower the human and economic costs.”
Reaction Dutch NGOs
At the KNCV head office, 13 Dutch NGOs gathered to further discuss the Global Funds’ investment plans with Peter Sands. Several Dutch NGOs that partner closely with the Global Fund – including KNCV – have expressed their support to the Global Fund investment case for the period 2020-2022 (in Dutch).