By Asmau Ahmad
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announces US$200 million pledge to the GFF to scale up life-saving services, the first of investors’ expected contributions to GFF Trust Fund in the replenishment. This commitment supplements the foundation’s initial $75 million investment in 2015 and reaffirms conviction that the best way to make a healthier, more secure, more prosperous world is to care for every woman, every child, and every adolescent.
“Together, we are making huge strides toward this vision”. As Melinda highlighted in her remarks at the GFF replenishment launch on the margin of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on the 20th September 2017. She also reiterated that child deaths have been cut by half in the past generation and more women are delivering their babies in facilities. But, progress is not inevitable. Global political upheaval and tightening development budgets put much of what we’ve achieved at risk.
“What we love about the Global Financing Facility is that it starts with country ownership, it has innovative financing, and it provides sustainability: Three really key things that mean we can make progress on the health of women, children and adolescents. At the Gates Foundation, if we make an initial investment, we’ll take some risks by investing our money to see if something works. If we make a second investment, it means we know it works… We are announcing another $200 million to the Global Financing Facility, and we wouldn’t ask you to invest if we weren’t investing.” Said Melinda Gates
The Global Financing Facility (GFF) in support of Every Woman Every Child has launched its replenishment with the goal of raising US$2 billion to expand the GFF to a total of 50 countries during the next five years. This financing has the potential to catalyze enough additional domestic and global resources to close the current estimated funding gap of US$33 billion per year to help save the lives of up to 38 million women, children and adolescents by 2030.
The World Bank Group and the United Nations launched the GFF at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July 2015 in support of Every Woman Every Child, and as part of a global conversation about how to finance the Sustainable Development Goals. The GFF is a broad partnership that is overseen by an Investors Group composed of the World Bank Group, which houses the GFF; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the United Nations; MSD for Mothers; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the governments of Canada, Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Current contributors to the GFF Trust Fund include the governments of Canada, Norway and United Kingdom, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and MSD for Mothers.