France and the Global Fund
France is one of the founding countries of the Global Fund. Having supported its creation in 2002, it has since been among its main political and financial pillars. To date, France has made contributions totalling €2.396 billion, thus positioning itself as the leading European contributor and the second biggest donor after the United States. France’s contributions have steadily increased. In 2010, at the most recent Global Fund Replenishment Conference, France gave an undertaking to provide up to €360 million a year over the period 2011-2013, part of this being through an indirect channel: the 5% Initiative on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
France is a dynamic member of the Global Fund Board, on which it has a seat (one of 20), and it is just as dynamic in countries receiving grants from the Global Fund through its participation in Country Coordination Mechanisms (CCMs), where it is represented in 25 countries by its regional health cooperation counsellors and Embassy staff.
The history of France’s support for the Fund
France is one of the founding countries of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Since the Fund’s creation in 2002, France has been among its principal political and financial supporters, assisting its development and transformation.
Specifically, France played a determining role in the promotion of the Fund at the G8 summit in Evian in 2003. That support has been constantly renewed at each subsequent G8 summit.
Support that was further enhanced by the Presidential announcement at the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals in September 2010 that the French contribution would be increased by 20% for the three-year period 2011-2013. This was reaffirmed in July 2012 in a video message from President Hollande in connection with the 19th international AIDS conference, during which innovative financing mechanisms were presented as a potential source of diversification of French participation.
As the second biggest financial contributor to the Global Fund, the total for France’s commitments currently stands at €3.016 billion (or USD3.8 billion) – €2.396bn of which has already been disbursed.
France in the Global Fund
France, the Fund’s second biggest donor, has a single seat on the Board of the Fund, where it is represented by its Ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases. A dynamic participant in the Fund, our country is also represented on two technical committees: the Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee and the Audit and Ethics Committee, in addition to the Committee on HIV and AIDS. Our country is active in this way in providing input for the strategic orientation of the Fund and its ongoing development.
France’s extremely extensive diplomatic network means that it also has a strong presence on the ground due to its active participation in over 25 CCMs. Regular exchanges of information between the team responsible for monitoring the Fund in Paris and France’s diplomatic representations provide an effective interface between the strategy developed in Geneva and practical application out in the field.
The values promoted by France
In the various Fund governance bodies of which it is a member, France participates actively in protecting the Fund’s core values, to which it owes its identity and originality. These essentially centre on the place and the role of civil society and communities affected by the three pandemics, ownership of programmes by beneficiary countries and consideration for the needs of the most vulnerable population groups.
While supporting the Fund as it evolves in the direction of a more effective and rigorous financial model, France also argues for consideration to be given to the specific needs of the countries whose institutions are weakest and for the implementation of suitable mechanisms and forms of assistance. In line with this concern, France stresses the importance of investing in health system strengthening in order to assure the efficacy of Fund programmes and respond to the global challenges posed by infectious diseases. Through its participation in the Audit and Ethics Committee, France has also helped put in place horizontal analysis of conflicts of interest with a view to helping make the Fund an exemplary organisation.
As a pioneer in reflection on innovative development financing mechanisms, France is also one of the main pillars and donors of UNITAID. In this respect, it takes a close interest in collaboration between the Global Fund and UNITAID with regard both to their operational cooperation in present and future activities and their financial links as expressed by the financial contribution of UNITAID to Global Fund projects.
France, a supporter and advocate of the Francophony, is pleased to see the high level of investment by the Global Fund in the French-speaking countries of Africa. It argues for the necessity of ensuring suitable responses to the situations in those countries and promotes multilingualism in governance bodies, especially at the operational level.
France’s commitment on the ground
With the backing of its extremely extensive diplomatic network, France is able to monitor the execution of Fund projects in the field through its regional health cooperation counsellors and cooperation and cultural action departments (Services de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle – SCAC). Our country is for example represented in over 25 CCMs. These diplomatic representations participate actively in strategic reflection and act in the field as channels for communication of France’s positions.