The COVID-19 crisis has shed light on our need to think differently about how we address the world’s health and socioeconomic challenges. Despite efforts by governments and multilateral groups to counterbalance COVID-19’s impact, health systems continue to be disrupted two years into the pandemic. Overburdened and underfinanced health systems mean deteriorating responses to all global health challenges, one of which is the AIDS pandemic. The global response provided to the COVID-19 crisis left Africa behind in vaccination, resulting in spillover effects on the economy, AIDS, and other diseases.
Without urgent action to remedy the effects of COVID-19’s impact on the global AIDS response, another 7.7 million lives will be lost and the burden of present and future costs to government for HIV prevention and treatment will rise. A greater AIDS burden also correlates to lost economic capacity. As we consider tackling both current and future pandemics, how can we make sure health systems are better prepared and that the world has access to the newest diagnostics and medicines?
In this panel discussion, experts in health and equitable financing discussed COVID-19’s impact on the AIDS response and considered how the world can move toward an integrated financing strategy to better combat current pandemics and prepare for those to come. John Monahan, senior advisor for global health at Georgetown University, gave welcoming remarks, and Matthew Kavanaugh, currently on teaching leave from Georgetown University to serve as deputy executive director, a.i. for policy, advocacy and knowledge at UNAIDS, moderated the discussion.
This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative and O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law with UNAIDS.
Jaime Atienza is the incoming director of the equitable financing department at UNAIDS. Previously, he held director and management positions in Oxfam, working across countries and regions in matters related to development financing, migration, health, and education, among other issues.
Nadia Daar is the head of the Washington, DC, office of Oxfam International, where she leads engagement and advocacy on the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. Her work focuses on several issues, including inequality, public services, climate change, civic space, and accountability. Previously, Daar spent seven years at the Bank Information Center.
David Evans is part of the health financing global solutions group at the World Bank. He has over 40 years experience in health economics and financing, initially as an academic and then in the World Health Organization, where he was the director of health financing and governance for more than 10 years. He is the co-author of the recent World Bank flagship report "From Double Shock to Double Recovery: Health Financing in the Time of COVID-19."
Matthew M. Kavanagh (moderator) is special advisor to the executive director for policy, advocacy, and knowledge at UNAIDS, where he is responsible for the organization’s work to advance policy, law, and political change to end the AIDS pandemic. He has worked internationally for more than 20 years at the intersection of global health, politics, and law and comes to UNAIDS on secondment from Georgetown University, where he holds faculty appointments in international health and law and is a director at the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law.
John T. Monahan (welcome remarks) is interim dean of the School of Nursing & Health Studies and senior advisor for global health to Georgetown University’s President John J. DeGioia. A Georgetown community member for many years, he holds Georgetown academic appointments as professor of medicine, senior lecturer at Georgetown Law, and senior fellow at the School of Public Policy, and he has taught courses at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown Law, and the School of Foreign Service.
Daniel Munevar is an economic affairs officer with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), specialized in international financing and debt. Previously he has worked as a senior policy and advocacy advisor supporting Eurodad's work on debt justice. He is interested in the analysis of the links between debt sustainability, human rights, and the 2030 Agenda. In a previous stage with UNCTAD he advised the Ministries of Finance of Colombia and Greece on debt-related issues.
Shu-Shu Tekle-Haimanot is a senior advisor, political advocacy and partnerships, resource mobilization at The Global Fund, with a special responsibility in managing the African Union work and partnership with the African Leadership meeting of health and finance ministers. She has previously worked in different roles with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNECA, and the Africa Development Bank.