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This week, with many of you probably already looking forward to the World Health Summit in Berlin, we come back on the Global Fund replenishment from last week (among others, with a Featured article from Stéphanie Tchiombiano, Coordinator of the French think tank Santé mondiale 2030 ) ; cover the start of the IMF/WB annual meetings ( The Bretton Woods conference took place 75 years ago, so this is sort of an ‘anniversary’, albeit a gloomy one); World Food Day (16 Oct) and of course provide you with the usual digest of the main other global health policy news & publications (including a new Global TB report ).
With multilateralism in crisis (the UN’s current cash- flow crisis is a rather wry symbol of our times – the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020 looks grim, for now ) and people all over the world protesting in the streets (at least if they’re allowed to, and police & government don’t crack down on them ), many in the development & aid sector are wondering what we can learn from the impact of Greta Thunberg and the global climate strikes. Check out for example this analysis on Open Democracy, What INGOs can learn from Greta Thunberg and the global climate strikes. A quote: “ While Greta Thunberg has mostly targeted governments and multilateral bodies for their failure to tackle the climate crisis, the global Climate Strike Movement her Friday protests have inspired may also have inadvertently exposed the shortcomings of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). With the kind of global reach and popular mobilisation of which most INGOs can only dream, the climate strikes have succeeded in catapulting the climate crisis to the top of the political and media agendas. In the process, this movement has exposed the lack of critical interrogation by INGOs of government and corporate inaction to reduce global warming, and shed light on the growing inertia of an INGO sector that trades in incremental change rather than systemic political and economic transformation. …”
In global health circles, you often hear nowadays “We need a Greta as well” – for this or that lofty cause, whether it’s AMR, NCDs, …. Presumably, to raise awareness and start a global movement on ‘their’ cause as well. But as the abovementioned quote makes clear, ‘being a Greta’ has rather “disruptive” implications in terms of the transformative change one should advocate for, the ‘partners’ one should (perhaps better not?) seek, and the likelihood of ‘win-wins’ while fighting for global health. Perhaps a good question to dedicate an abstract or even session to, in Dubai? What does being a Greta for global health, HPSR, the SDGs … really imply? What would a global health Greta think of the Global Fund replenishment, by the way (PS: the GF PR team seems to take a sardonic pleasure in widely advertising its collaboration with Coca Cola 😊)? And more importantly, how can we all become more like her, uncompromising when evidence asks us to, in order to really get to Health for All on a now rapidly warming planet ?
Or, as Billie Eilish would probably sing, “All the Gates girls (& Bono boys) go to hell … ‘Cause even God herself has enemies. “ 😊
Enjoy your reading.