Washington D.C., July 3, 2024 — The Global Financing Facility’s (GFF) governing bodies—Investors Group (IG) and Trust Fund Committee (TFC)—met this past week to agree on near-term priorities as the GFF enters the final stage of its 2021–25 strategic plan. Priorities were agreed taking into account the fiscal constraints faced by many countries and stagnating progress on the health of women and youth in countries with the highest maternal and child mortality and adolescent pregnancy rates. The governing bodies also discussed the preparation underway to inform for the next strategy period as well as ongoing work to improve alignment and collaboration across the health ecosystem globally and in countries, in line with the Lusaka Agenda.

The main outcomes and decision points from the meetings are as follows:

  • Endorsement of the GFF Climate and Health approach: Integrating a targeted climate and health approach into the current strategy will focus on addressing the specific needs and considerations of women, children and adolescents, leveraging the GFF’s country-led operating model and work with the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice and Climate Group. Priority actions will include (1) integrating climate change factors into GFF-supported investment cases, (2) support climate and health diagnostics together with the World Bank Climate and Health program; (3) incorporating climate sensitivity and responsiveness in the GFF’s data generation, monitoring, and results systems; and (4) seeking alignment with GFF partner initiatives to prioritize climate actions within programs for women, children and adolescents.
  • Stocktaking on three key areas of the current GFF strategy:
    • Gender: The IG reviewed the implementation status of the GFF’s gender-related work program, including ways in which the gender focused key performance indicator (KPI) of the strategy can help course-correct current approaches and accelerate impact. While barriers to women and girls’ empowerment have been identified in all investment cases and gender transformative reforms are ongoing in a large majority of GFF partnership countries, progress is still too slow in light of the backlash against women’s health and rights.
    • Health financing: Given that almost two-thirds of GFF partner countries (60 percent) will be unable to increase government spending for health, the IG provided guidance on the role of the GFF to calibrate support for increases in health spending with a focus on efficiency and prioritization. The IG discussed the evolution of the program designed to address changing needs, focusing on allocative and technical efficiency reforms for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH-N) that promote equity, transparency ​and accountability for primary health care (PHC) ​resources. The IG requested regular touchpoints on this agenda.
    • Civil society engagement: Taking into account the positive results to date, and the critical role civil society continues to play in ensuring that country plans respond to community needs and accountability, it was agreed to launch the design and consultation process for the next phase of civil society and youth engagement, including to ensure continued funding for constituency coordination, technical assistance and direct grants.

Finally, the IG expressed strong support to review the role and function of the IG to provide lessons and maximize its impact. Coinciding with the ongoing GFF external evaluation process and to inform the next strategy development, the review will look at the role of the IG in support of the alignment agenda and how to better enable the IG as a forum to support country efforts​.

Following the IG meeting, the Trust Fund Committee met to endorse the policy for approval of second-round financing for eligible GFF partner countries as well as the proposed allocation of available GFF funding. Further, the TFC provided guidance on the resource mobilization road map, with the closure of the current Deliver the Future public campaign and continued donor engagement in existing and new donor markets. The TFC also committed to play an advocacy role in support of GFF short- and long-term fundraising efforts.

Additionally, the TFC provided guidance on the operationalization of two financing mechanisms:

  • A Joint Financing Framework (JFF), which has been piloted in Mali and will extend to other countries to help facilitate alignment of additional external financing to investment cases.
  • A Challenge Fund to accelerate progress on the current strategy by unlocking multisectoral collaboration and innovation to address health system constraints. As a next step, the first call for expression of interest will focus on access to and sustainable financing of RMNCAH-N commodities.

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