Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom
16 June 2022
Re: The United Kingdom’s commitment to the 7th Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Dear Secretary of State,
We write to you today on this United Kingdom day of action on behalf of Women4GlobalFund (W4GF) Advocates and the Her Voice Fund. We are a global network of gender equality advocates from 62 countries, committed to ensuring that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) programmes are gender-transformative to meet the rights and priorities of women and girls in all our diversity.
We applaud your leadership and commitment to gender equality and women’s rights as demonstrated in your new International Development Strategy. We agree that long-term success in development efforts must enable girls to receive at least 12 years of quality education, that women and girls are free from violence, and that we can enjoy choice and control over our lives. Given that our experiences are intersectional, our right to education, safety and security, food and nutrition are intrinsically linked to our right to health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected by ill health as a result of AIDS, TB and malaria. Your contribution of GBP 4.18 billion to the Global Fund has been instrumental in helping to ensure that women and girls, especially those living with HIV and young women in most affected countries, are able to realise their health and SRRH rights. We know this because about one third of Global Fund funding directly benefits SRHR, including activities like comprehensive sexuality education, addressing gender-based violence and supporting girls to stay in school. This makes the Global Fund arguably the largest multilateral provider of grants to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women globally. In addition, investments in the Global Fund strongly align with other British strategic interests because about one half of their investments go to Commonwealth countries.
The world continues to face numerous complex challenges including global pandemics such as COVID-19 and conflicts. Within these uncertain times the needs of women and girls, especially living with and affected by HIV, TB and malaria must not be forgotten. The last couple of years reminds us that providing health and social services to mitigate the impact of a disease cannot be dissociated from social issues like gender equality that define how service provision is designed, and which impact our ability to access services and to have bodily autonomy. Access to quality and equitable health services, food and nutrition security, economic justice, including safety against violence we experience remain goals we hope to realize in our lifetime.
The stakes could not be higher now and we need the UK Government to continue the leadership it showed when it co-founded the Global Fund twenty years ago, and was the second largest donor at the last replenishment in 2019. Show the world you continue to be a global leader by securing your Global Fund investment. As part of the UK Government’s commitment to increase ODA – this investment would advance your International Development Strategy to provide women and girls with the freedom they need to live a full and healthy life.
Now more than ever we need the UK Government to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to gender equality by joining the United States of America and other donors by contributing 30% more towards the Global Fund’s 7th Replenishment. A 30% increase to the UK’s contribution of £1.4bn in the 6th Replenishment equates to approximately £1.82 billion. This is what we need from the UK to reach the US$18 billion target. If the UK does not set the tone and be the leader we know you are then this will set us off course to reach 12 billion which will unlock the US$6 billion commitment from the United States of America (USA), and catalyse scale-up of domestic investments of up to US$59 billion Every £100 million short of this $18bn goal would leave £50million of USA funding on the table.
Given the vulnerabilities confronting women and young girls, exacerbated by emerging new health threats, the need for gender equality and rights-based approaches continues to remain essential. Among many other possibilities – reaching US$18 billion would allow the Global Fund to reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women in the most affected countries by 72%.
We are relying on the UK Government to keep up the momentum and continue to support gender transformative and affirming approaches in the Global Fund, now and in the future. Inequitable access to health services and commodities exacerbate inequalities and undermine progress made. Failing to commit 30% more than in the 6th Replenishment will jeopardise any gains made and will have devastating impacts for women and girls the world over, including previous investments made by all donors.
Most respectfully and in solidarity,
W4GF Global Coordinator
W4GF is a dynamic global platform of women and gender equality advocates who share a deep commitment to ensuring that Global Fund programmes are gender-transformative to meet the rights and priorities of women and girls in all our diversity. For more information, contact Sophie Dilmitis, Global Coordinator, Women4GlobalFund (W4GF) EMAIL | WEB | FACEBOOK | TWITTER
The HER (HIV Epidemic Response) Voice Fund supports the meaningful engagement and leadership of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in decision-making spaces with the aim of reducing HIV incidence and improving our broader health, well-being, and rights. For more information, contact Maximina Jokonya, HER Voice Fund Coordinator, EMAIL, WEB, FACEBOOK, TWITTER
 W4GF advocates in Albania, Argentina, America, Australian, Bangkok, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, China, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.