On St. Valentine’s Day, the TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) took part in a flash mob initiated by the Alliance for Public Health and Eurasian Harm Reduction Association in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This happened in the frames of the Global Action coordinated by GFAN Asia-Pacific with the support of GFAN Africa and inspired by communities and civil society.

In Ukraine, representatives of communities and civil society organizations in a form of “love letters” delivered to the Embassies of donor countries an important advocacy message to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). More than 130 representatives from the WHO Europe region united effort through these signed letters to advocate for an increased contribution for Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment (2020-2022 years).

“Global Fund is very key donor for Eastern Europe and Central Asia to fight TB. We reached out 26 Embassies showing currently achieved results and calling for further support. We need the resources to address TB, especially MDR-TB, to scale up up-to-date TB diagnostics and treatment, to find people with TB missed by healthcare system, to change outdated policies to people-centered approach.” – emphasizes Andriy Klepikov, Executive director of Alliance for Public Health.

The Global Fund has played a crucial role in the fight with epidemics. Programs supported by the Global Fund have saved over 27 million lives all around the world, including 5 million people treat with TB.

“It is important for us to continue to save lives and to continue the global fight against HIV and tuberculosis (TB) throughout the world, but for this we need money. The Global Fund is a key partner for the community in fight with HIV and TB. Today, with such flash mob we urge donor countries not only to continue to financially support the Global Fund, but also to increase their pledges in order to fill the Global Fund by at least US $18 billion, which will save at least 16 million lives. These are just numbers, but human lives are behind these numbers and it is very important for people like me, because my life was also saved by the Global Fund.” – says Anton Basenko, Country Focal Point: PITCH.

The larger Replenishment, beyond the Global Fund fundraising target of US $14 billion will make a difference. The funding needed for the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment to scale up the fight against HIV, TB and malaria is at least US $16.8 to US $18 billion.

“The underfunding of the Global Fund endangers global commitments to end TB and in particular commitments for rapid scale-up of new tools for effective diagnosis and TB treatment that countries have taken in the signed Political Declaration during the first UN High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018.” – explains Yuliya Chorna, Executive Director of TB Europe Coalition.

TBEC strongly believe that the voices of communities and civil society will be heard. Governments are urged to increase pledges for Global Fund and to demonstrate their political will and real commitments for the health and well-being of their people.