Today Dr. Michel Kazatchkine tendered his resignation as Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (The Fund). Regardless of whether you've ever heard of the French AIDS scientist, or even of The Fund, you should keep reading. This is a critical, dangerous moment for all of Global Health.
In his letter delivered today to the Board of The Fund, Kazatchkine made clear the parameters of the political struggle that forced his resignation. "The Global Fund has helped to spearhead an entirely new framework of international development partnership. Although we still have a long way to go to make this new approach work in every country, I believe that the Global Fund has permanently changed the development landscape for the better," Kazatchkine wrote.
But under stress during the world economic crisis, with radically declining support from donors, a battle has ensued, Kazatchkine wrote. "Today, the Global Fund stands at a cross-road. The prevailing economic climate poses new and formidable challenges to all international development efforts. In the international political economy, power-balances are shifting and new alignments of countries and decision-making institutions are emerging or will have to be developed to achieve global goals. Within the area of global health, the emergency approaches of the past decade are giving way to concerns about how to ensure long-term sustainability, while at the same time, efficiency is becoming a dominant measure of success."