The Finnish government’s commitment to the 7th Replenishment of the Global Fund

We write to you 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.

Minister Ville Skinnari
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade
Helsinki, Finland

August 2022

Re: The Finnish government’s commitment to the 7th Replenishment of the Global Fund

Honourable Minister Ville Skinnari,

With the 7th Replenishment pledging conference taking place next month in September, we urge you to once again, join the Global Fund partnership and provide a solid pledge for the 7th Replenishment. It is through strong donor support that the Global Fund is able to continue saving lives and advance gender equality and the rights of women and girls like us. We recognize that Finland has previously been part of this success, contributing over €25 million from 2006 to 2013.

The Global Fund is one of the largest multilateral providers of grants to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women globally. About one third of Global Fund funding directly benefits Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), including activities such as comprehensive sexuality education, addressing gender-based violence, and supporting girls to stay in school. Additionally, the SRHR related investments cut across disease programs, health systems and rights interventions. The Global Fund continues to invest in treatment and prevention programs, in formal and informal health systems, prevention of vertical transmission of HIV, integrated services for antenatal and postnatal care, prevention of malaria during pregnancy and targeted screening, screening and testing of sexually transmitted infections, PrEP, self-testing, prevention of cervical cancer, post-violence care, and comprehensive information and education on sexual health for in-school and out-of-school youth.

Now more than ever, we need you to commit and join effort with fellow donor governments for the Global Fund to reach the US$18 billion target for the 7th Replenishment as per the Global Fund Investment Case. Failure to meet the US$18 billion target will have dire consequences for our health, rights and lives and reverse all efforts made to date. We look to you to take the lead and fight for what counts in ensuring continuity, filling the gaps, and scaling up services and programmes for HIV, TB and malaria.

The world continues to face numerous complex challenges, conflicts such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and 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.

We applaud your recent acknowledgement at the UN Human Rights Council that “Women and girls – in all their diversity – deserve our full attention. We must protect all women, including indigenous and LGBTIQ women as well as those with disabilities. We must also address the shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls urgently”. As a network of women and girls in all our diversity, we see our role and your commitment to gender equality and ensuring equal access to non-discriminatory and quality sexual and reproductive health services, as critical in addresses some of the gaps we experience in accessing equitable, quality, and sustainable HIV, TB and malaria services.

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% and save 20 million lives (from 2024-2026) and reduce the mortality rate by 64% across the three diseases by 2026, relative to 2020 levels. We also know that every US$1 invested increases 31-fold and supports health gains and economic returns, further contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

We are relying on you to keep up the momentum and continue to support gender transformative and affirming approaches, including through the Global Fund, now and in the future. Inequitable access to health services and commodities exacerbates inequalities and undermine progress made. Failing to meet the US$18 billion target for the 7th Replenishment will undermine the ambition for the next three years and will have devastating impacts for women and girls the world over, including on previous investments made by all donors.

We thank you for your leadership and hope for assurances of your highest consideration to this pressing matter of global concern.

Most respectfully and in solidarity,

Ángela León Cáceres ─ She/Her
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 Ángela León Cáceres, 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

Headquartered in Senegal, Speak Up Africa is a policy and advocacy action tank dedicated to catalyzing leadership, enabling policy change, and increasing awareness for sustainable development in Africa. With ensuring health and well-being of all at our core, we support SDGs 1 to 6 in transforming societies throughout Africa. For more information, contact Maelle Ba, Strategic Communications Manager at Speak Up Africa | EMAIL | WEB | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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