News and Opinions  –  2018

How should urgently needed work on antimicrobial resistance be funded? Meeting report from workshop with experts on AMR and global health

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It is widely acknowledged that the consequences of antimicrobial resistance will negatively affect and potentially jeopardize the progress and achievement of sustainable development. In December 2018, ReAct and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation hosted a meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, inviting around 20 experts in the field of antimicrobial resistance and global health, to discuss funding for the global crisis of antimicrobial resistance.

The participants were invited to search for financing options for global action on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Together they examined options for the mobilization of capital and proposed new and existing funding streams to invest in addressing AMR. The outcomes of the workshop will feed into the ongoing discussions on future global governance for AMR.

“There is currently no ‘go-to-place’ for funding the implementation of National Action Plans on AMR and this is a serious global concern.”

Otto Cars, founder of ReAct

Significant barriers to implement AMR actions

A clear message emerged from the meeting is that there are practical difficulties finding people and money to implement AMR activities especially in low- and middle-income countries. There is a rapid tail-off from the number of countries that have produced an AMR National Action Plan to the number that are making significant progress with implementation.

Sustainable investments needed

A return to a pre-antibiotic era could have devastating impacts on global public health as well as the global economy. In our previous news article, we have reflected on sustainable investments in solutions to address antimicrobial resistance. We need forward-looking strategies for investors, governments and their development partners to ensure that we mobilize not just more, but better financing to enable a broader range of interventions to manage antibiotic resistance in a realistic and timely manner.

A meeting to explore funding options

AMR and global health experts at the meeting in Uppsala, Sweden.

The meeting sought to be a starting point for in-depth discussions on options for needed functions at global and country levels. In addition to global public goods functions, a role was identified for global catalytic funding to kick-start activities. It was also recognized that AMR funding should be integrated into existing programmes in AMR-sensitive areas. AMR is a consequence of systems failures and should therefore be seen and addressed through a systems perspective.

New meeting report on AMR funding needs – to stimulate dialogues and accelerate funding for AMR

The report Antimicrobial resistance and sustainable development – A planetary threat but a financing orphan  prepared by ReAct and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation further builds on contributions from meeting participants and processes and synthesizes the meeting discussions.

Six principles for antimicrobial resistance funding

Six principles for AMR financing were identified:

  • Pay now or have to pay much more later.
  • The form of funding mechanisms to follow the allocation of functions.
  • Harnessing existing funds to become more AMR-oriented.
  • Global financing channels to be visible and accessible to countries.
  • A systems approach and the promotion of sustainability.
  • Promote long-term sustainability.

The meeting was an early step in developing concrete proposals about how to fund AMR activities and identified five clear areas for further work on funding AMR.

  1. Explore what a global mechanism providing catalytic funding could look like.
  2. Develop stronger investment cases, nationally and internationally.
  3. Support a small number of country pilots to learn more about the practical challenges in implementing AMR National Action Plan.
  4. Work with relevant international funders to explore how they can adapt their work to be more AMR-oriented.
  5. Make it easier for countries to access catalytic funds in the short term and promote specific priorities for catalytic funding.

“We hope that these deliberations will stimulate further dialogues and accelerate the availability and access to sustainable funding for antimicrobial resistance.”

Otto Cars, founder of ReAct