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Francophone region MPs and stakeholders take steps towards Global Fund 7th Replenishment



Lately, a lot of our focus has been on the Global Fund’s upcoming 7th Replenishment: we’ve discussed the role and significance of the Global Fund in the health sphere, and made the case for why the replenishment is a key moment towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, the Global TB Caucus held two online orientation workshops for MPs on the 9th and 16th of June, 2022: framing the replenishment in the context of the Anglophone and Francophone regions.


The Global TB Caucus Francophone regional office organised a multisectoral workshop in collaboration with the Francophone Parliamentary Assembly, Dynamique Réponse d’Afrique Francophone (DRAF TB) and the Global Fund; with the aim to galvanise high-level commitments and harmonise stakeholder efforts towards the success of the 7th replenishment of the Global Fund in September 2022.


The workshop brought together parliamentarians, civil society organisations, National TB Programs, and partners & stakeholders from across the region to discuss Global Fund processes and the recently launched investment case.


The presenters at the meeting were Scott Boule (Senior Specialist, Parliamentary Affairs, Global Fund) who provided an overview of the Global Fund and the 7th replenishment investment case; Dr. Michel Kaswa (Director of the National TB Program Democratic Republic of Congo) and Edouard Kambou Sansan (Representative, DRAF-TB), who both enlightened participants on strengthening partnerships between national TB programmes and stakeholders in the context of the 7th Global Fund replenishment campaign, as well as best practices on multisectoral advocacy efforts via the perspectives of national TB programmes and civil society.


The Global Fund 7th Replenishment Campaign roadmap was endorsed on behalf of the region by Senator Dr. Pierre Flambeau Ngayap, (Co-chair, francophone region of the Global TB Caucus). While endorsing the road map, he recounted the vital role the Global Fund played alongside the Global TB Caucus during the 6th replenishment in 2019, noting that the forthcoming replenishment cycle is another opportunity for parliamentarians to follow through on joint commitments and ownership from all stakeholders. He called on governments to prioritise universal health coverage at all levels, and the importance of providing equitable access to health services, regardless of any factors (be it socio-economic, legal, health, religion, gender, age, et cetera).


Closing remarks were led by Député Laurent Wehrli (Chairman of the Francophone Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Education, Communication and Cultural Affairs and National Councillor of the Swiss Parliament); who stressed the need for more resources to be mobilised to the Global Fund, with the aim of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating the three diseases by 2030. In so doing, he urged parliamentarians, civil society, public and private sector actors, TB programmes and other key national stakeholders to strengthen multisectoral advocacy at the national level, and to ask their governments to join other countries in committing and increasing their contributions to the Global Fund: giving the world a chance to get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. He indicated the willingness of the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie to work closely with the Caucus and other partners towards a common goal, and also stressed the need for different parliamentary networks and parliamentarians from different countries (especially those involved in health and finance issues in their different countries) to work together, prioritise health, and face the reality that more work needs to be done in the fight against tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria; stating that "we are listened to more and have more capacity to convince if we work together”.


Honourable Léon Mondolé from the Democratic Republic of Congo National TB Caucus, also called on all parliamentarians to use their voices in their National Assemblies to ensure that their countries make a substantial contribution to the Global Fund replenishment, in the interest of adequately funding TB control efforts in their countries.


Honourable Zakaria Hassan from the National TB Caucus of Chad emphasised that the fight against TB cannot be won with just goodwill or verbal commitments, but with thorough advocacy backed by financial support. He urged countries to introduce processes for structured and meaningful engagement of all government sectors and actors, the private sector and a broad base of civil society, including youth and academia, for a common multisectoral approach towards achieving the UN HLM targets by the next UN HLM meeting in 2023.


At the end of the meeting, participants expressed improved knowledge on Global Fund processes, existing gaps and challenges in TB funding, and the advocacy role of each stakeholder; especially parliamentarians. The responses, feedback and comments gathered from parliamentarians and stakeholders also indicated increased political will, ownership and joint commitment of parliamentarians, civil society and stakeholders at the regional and country levels to work together towards the Global Fund 7th replenishment. A major outcome were the parliamentary endorsements of the Global Tuberculosis Caucus' Global Fund Replenishment Campaign Roadmap.


In total, the meeting saw the participation of over 90 people from more than 18 countries of the francophone region, including 16 parliamentarians from both implementing and donor countries of the Global Fund.


The meeting was moderated by Deborah Ogwuche (Francophone and West Africa Regional Manager of the Global TB Caucus) who closed the meeting with a call to action to Parliamentarians, members of civil society, TB programs and all stakeholders. She also called on countries to ensure continuous investment in strengthening health systems; working towards the dual benefits of improving health outcomes today, and preparing for future pandemics to protect the health of their respective populations.


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Photo Credits to Josep Martins