Global Fund must copper-bottom claims it has saved 27 million lives, say experts

Global Fund must copper-bottom claims it has saved 27 million lives, say experts

One of the world’s largest development funds risks “overstating” the number of lives it has saved and must improve transparency, experts have warned. 

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has an annual budget of roughly $4 billion, funds projects around the world to tackle these three deadly diseases. 

Ahead of a “replenishment conference” later this year, when the fund will seek to raise $14 billion from donors, the organisation said the projects it finances have saved 27 million lives – roughly three times the population of Switzerland. 

But according to experts writing in the Lancet journal, the claim is based on “obscure” methodology, which risks overstating the fund’s role in reducing deaths from HIV/Aids, TB and malaria and taking credit for other people’s work. 

“There is no doubt organisations like the Global Fund do great work but to ensure continuous donor investment they need to be more open and honest with their reporting,” said, Dr Rocco Friebel, lead author and Assistant Professor of Health Policy at LSE.

“The methods and underlying data of the modelling exercise conducted by The Global Fund and others should be released and subject to public scrutiny. The organisation should be clear about its methodology, share relevant data and open itself up to peer review.” 

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