During a recent visit to Japan, the Global Fund Interim Executive Director Marijke Wijnroks and other senior fund officials met with Parliamentary Vice Minister Iwao Horii of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ) Advisory Board, and senior government officials to advocate for Japan’s continued support for the Global Fund. In addition, the Global Fund, in cooperation with FGFJ, held a press briefing and a career seminar.
Interim Executive Director Marijke Wijnroks (center) speaking at the FGFJ Advisory Board on the achievements and challenges of the Global Fund.
With Parliamentary Vice Minister Iwao Horii at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (photo provided by MOFA)
During the trip, Wijnroks emphasized the achievements of the Global Fund, and particularly the fact that it has saved 22 million lives since its inception and prevented 140 to 180 million new infections to date. She explained that the Global Fund works in different ways to meet the varied needs of the countries they support. In particular, she stressed the importance of continued work in the countries and regions with challenging operating environments due to conflicts and natural disasters. One-third of the Global Fund’s support is targeted to these challenging countries and regions, some using mechanisms such as emergency funds. With the disbursement of $4.5 million from the emergency funds, and in partnership with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), the Global Fund was able to provide TB services to the more than 4.8 million Syrian refugees who have fled their homeland since 2011.
Another important topic of conversation was the sustainability, transition, and co-financing of those countries that are no longer eligible for the Global Fund support. The diagram below summarizes the Global Fund’s approach to supporting transition.
Lastly, she reiterated the critical importance of Japan’s continued engagement and leadership in supporting the Global Fund as one that planted the seed for its creation. She compared the Global Fund’s annual operating budget of $4 billion to that of a city hospital in Osaka, and pointed out that with the contribution of $314 million to the Global Fund for this year – a requested amount to the Japanese government—they will be able to save 418,000 lives and prevent 5.9 million new infections, leading to an economic impact of $7 billion.