The World Innovation Summit for Health, with the support of the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), has launched Friends of The Global Fund Qatar at this year’s Doha Forum. Organizations that are Friends of The Global Fund commit to developing contacts and allies, promoting a good understanding of The Global Fund’s mission to eradicate tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS, and mobilizing public support.
Founded in 2002, The Global Fund is an international partnership that was created to accelerate the end of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. It mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion annually, donated by governments and other public and private organizations, to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, in 2020, 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis, 680,000 from HIV-related illnesses, and a further 620,000 from malaria.
Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to join the Friends of The Global Fund cohort and will support efforts to promote The Global Fund’s causes in the region, with Friends of The Global Fund Qatar being based and managed within WISH, an initiative of Qatar Foundation.
During the launch, WISH CEO, Sultana Afdhal and Lady Rosalyn Morauta, Vice-Chair of the Board of the Global Fund and former first lady of Papua New Guinea, signed a pledge that recognised a shared commitment to help build a healthier world and the fact that health should be a fundamental human right. The pledge was signed in the presence of Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Excellency Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of QFFD, who are The Global Fund’s funding partner in Qatar. Through the launch, Qatar has now joined the four active regional Friends organizations; Europe, USA, Japan, Australia.
The launch and pledge comes as health leaders voice increasing concern that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial pressure it has placed upon health systems, threatens to undo much of the good work that has taken place over the past 20 years to combat the three diseases that The Global Fund targets.
Afdhal said: “We now stand at a crossroads, where progress towards eradicating these three devastating diseases, and achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations, by 2030, is in real danger of going into reverse. That is why we are immensely proud to have facilitated this vital partnership so that Friends of the Global Fund Qatar can play its part in not only halting that decline, but to further enhance our collective commitment to global health and the SDGs.”
Lady Morauta added: “Friends of the Global Fund organisations exist across the world, but Friends of the Global Fund Qatar is the first of its kind in the Middle East.
The Global Fund is built on partnerships, and value the support of Qatar through Qatar Fund for Development. Through Friends of the Global Fund Qatar, we really look forward having Qatar Foundation, and WISH in particular, actively join the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.”
As part of the ongoing global discussions on recovering from the pandemic, WISH hosted Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund at its 2020 summit, where he discussed the potentially catastrophic effect of resources being pulled from major epidemics surrounding HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, to address COVID-19. The discussion is available here on the WISH YouTube channel.
WISH is the global health initiative of QF and is dedicated to providing a global platform for tackling the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges.