On March 23rd an advocate’s training for “Financing for Health in Latin America and the Caribbean” took place in Panama City. This training discussed advocacy strategies for effective resource mobilization. A select number of participants from an earlier two-day Latin American and Caribbean Risk Management Forum gathered for a more involved discussion on the Global Fund replenishment process, advocacy with parliamentarians and decision-makers, examples of Civil Society input in the replenishment process, and developing an advocacy strategy for the Latin American and Caribbean for the 5th Replenishment.
Organised by the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) and the Developing Country NGO Delegation, this event was a high-energy event, with support and presentations from the Developing Country NGO Delegation, the Global Fund, the GFAN Speaker’s Bureau, the German Cooperation and Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, among other including advocates and civil society representatives. The gap in funding for upper middle income countries was a hot topic of the meeting. This included a discussion on the $13billion needed from the Global Fund to end AIDS, TB, and Malaria. It was stated that anything below this target would be insufficient, encouraging a program of maintenance rather than contributing to the eradication of the three diseases.
In light of these needs, participants worked together to create advocacy strategies for engagement including three key advocacy actions (two domestic and one international), identifying key opportunities and threats to resource mobilization efforts, three resource mobilization champions from government, civil society, or private sector, and social media activities. Several countries discussed using athletes, celebrities, and politicians as champions for resource mobilization. There was a united movement to make efforts for advocacy in the upcoming Rio Summer Olympics 2016.
Much of the feedback from the training demonstrated a need for more time to discuss these strategies and a willingness from all parties to learn more about the replenishment process. Participants were given tools to bolster advocacy and increase resource mobilization at both national and international levels. A continued dialogue is necessary, and a LAC Working Group has been established through the Global Fund Advocates Network to assist in realizing the advocacy strategies developed in this training.
For more coverage on the event follow the hashtag #LACForum2016