Is the GFF Trying to Raise Too Much or Too Little?

This blog originally appeared on Save The Children UK on October 6, 2017

The Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child (GFF) has launched its call for a 2018 replenishment with a target of raising $2 billion from donors. This mechanism, hosted at the World Bank, aims to support investment in health, specifically in support of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

The GFF is a curious beast. Emphatically it is not supposed to become a new global fund – although the call for replenishment may feel like that. $2 billion is a large amount but not compared to the amounts that Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, ($7.5 billion) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria ($12.9 billion) raised in their last replenishments. Gavi and the Global Fund have definitely helped countries but there are many questions about their sustainability, as this report by our friends at Results asks. As countries ‘transition’ from this support, will they have the budget to start to replace external aid or will the gains rapidly reverse?

The GFF aims not to create any more dependence on donors, an objective we strongly support. The replenishment is for the Trust Fund element of the GFF, which does allocate cash to countries. To maximise resources in the short term, GFF Trust Fund recipient countries also agree to use loans that they can access from the World Bank or the International Bank for Development and Reconstruction (IDRB) to finance health and nutrition expenditure. While it is right that countries can borrow to invest, we have seen problems with countries taking on too much debt in the past. There are also important questions about sustainability if everyday health service costs are paid for by loans.

Read the full blog post here