In a formal petition, Rwandan HIV/AIDS advocates, including staff from AHF Rwanda, urged the Global Fund Board to refrain from using the World Bank country income groups, increase allocations to civil society organizations and call on China to step up its contribution to the Fund. The petition was presented to the members of the Developing Countries NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board in Kigali on May 2, a day before the Board was set to officially convene for its 37th meeting.
“As a Global Fund-implementing country, Rwanda has achieved a lot in fighting against HIV, TB and malaria,” Etienne Hakizimana, AHF Rwanda Prevention and Testing Coordinator said. “We want the Global Fund fully funded so that we have more resources to save more lives. Like many other implementing countries, Rwanda will be in transition soon. We need to ensure funding to civil societies is available and make the work sustainable.”
According to the petition, the World Bank classifies countries into low-, middle-, and high-income groups based on Gross National Income (GNI). The advocates argue that these groupings should not be used by the Global Fund to establish funding levels, because they do not accurately reflect public health challenges in countries regardless of their GNI level.
The petition also asked the Board to direct the Global Fund to open an ongoing dialogue with Chinese officials to explore opportunities for China to increase its contribution to the Fund. Of the world’s five leading economies, China is by far the smallest donor, donating only 2.5% of the amounts donated by Germany and Japan.
The petition was signed by the Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion, a national network that advocates, coordinates, builds civil society capacities, and monitors and evaluates NGO members’ implementing activities in the health sector.