Saving Lives, Changing Livelihoods through Innovative Financing

By Mark Dybul, Executive Director

in Voices on 15 February 2017

Tackling today’s global challenges calls for new and diverse approaches. As a 21st century partnership, the Global Fund is constantly exploring innovative financing models to go beyond traditional sources of funding to reach the global goal of ending the epidemics of AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030.

The Lives and Livelihoods Fund is a good example of how new financial approaches across different partners can transform health in countries and communities most in need. Supported by the Islamic Development Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund is an innovative mechanism to finance projects in health, agriculture and infrastructure in Islamic Development Bank member countries through a combination of grants and concessional loans.

This week, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund signed its first project – a US$32 million financing agreement to support the Government of Senegal’s mission to eliminate malaria by the end of 2018. The project, designed in collaboration with the Global Fund under the framework of the National Malaria Control Program, will train community workers and contribute to the distribution of 1 million rapid diagnosis tests and more than 700,000 anti-malaria drug doses, in addition to providing 2.5 million people with mosquito nets.

Building on Senegal’s commitment and remarkable effort to fight malaria, the Lives and Livelihoods Fund project will support the country to move from the first stage of malaria response, the ‘control phase’, to the ‘pre-elimination phase’. Think what that means in terms of development and social change. A life saved to malaria is a girl who thrives beyond her fifth birthday because she has a bed net to protect her and her family. That same girl can complete school and go on to become a doctor, and contribute to a stable and prosperous community.

What makes this co-investment scheme unique is that it complements funding already raised in the Global Fund’s three-year Replenishment cycle. It also provides additional resources for governments to meet Global Fund co-financing requirements, increasing country ownership and building the sustainability of programs.

These new models reflect our efforts to build a broad coalition of fundraising partners, expanding beyond government aid agencies, corporate donors and foundations to engage new players, such as impact investors, high net-worth individuals, sovereign wealth and pension funds, banks and asset management companies, and development finance institutions. The Lives and Livelihoods Fund also pools resources from the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, the Qatar Fund for Development, the King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

In September 2016, world leaders pledged US$12.9 billion for the Global Fund partnership to accelerate the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. That tremendously successful fundraising effort was thanks to great commitments and vision by countries across the world, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The Replenishment’s outcome was also the result of stronger collaboration among diverse financial partners seeking co-investment opportunities.

The Islamic Development Bank joined the Replenishment Conference in Montreal, where the US$12.9 billion was raised. We are currently exploring co-investments platforms with the Bank in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states. Today, 50 of the 57 OIC member states are implementing Global Fund-supported programs to fight the diseases and build resilient and sustainable systems for health. These investments in health are also investments in economic and social prosperity, with returns on education, poverty reduction and long-term stability.

Global health is a shared responsibility. With new, innovative solutions to health financing, we can achieve a world free of HIV, TB and malaria.