Despite recent increases in official development assistance, financing needs for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are still lacking. Health spending on these and other issues remains far lower than required to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015. To address these critical financing needs, many within the international health community are advocating the use of global fund debt conversion, a mechanism designed to convert old government debt into new resources to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
On February 28, the Brookings global health financing initiative hosted a discussion on the global fund debt conversion proposal and its pilot program, Debt2Health, with featured speaker Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brookings distinguished visiting fellow. Participants included Brookings scholar Homi Kharas; Paul Zeitz, co-founder and executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance; and Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, head of global partnerships at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. David de Ferranti, director of the global health financing initiative, moderated this discussion.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.