For two days, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria has been holding a conference to address its fundraising needs for the next two years. Scientists presented new findings and research into these deadly illnesses on the first day, and on the second day, the Fund presented a breakdown of the monetary goals it wishes to achieve. By setting a target of $15 billion, the Global Fund is sending a strong message that we need to deal a significant blow to these diseases before the suffering they bring can spread any more.
Founded in 2002, the Global Fund “has supported more than 1,000 programs in 151 countries,” and has helped to alleviate suffering for over 10 million people. A recent editorial by Bill Gates called the Global Fund “a terrific investment,” and “one of the kindest things people have ever done for each other.” By banding together to contribute funding to fight three of the world’s most dangerous diseases, people are asserting their places in the movement to make a healthier, safer world.
Gates goes on to applaud the Fund’s transparency and serious commitment to making the most out of the money it raises. By working to reduce costs and publishing yearly reports, the Fund upholds its responsibilities to both donors and recipients. Gates himself has put his money where his mouth is; his foundation’s contributions total almost $1.5 billion so far.
The Fund’s recent conference was not designed to solicit pledges, but many countries have expressed assurance that they will be able to maintain—if not increase—their yearly contributions. EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs seeks to continue the region’s transfers of over $130 million per year; countries like the US and the UK “signaled their strong enthusiasm for the Global Fund’s new strategy of investing for impact.”
However, with a $15 billion goal, the Fund needs all the help it can get. Officials within the organization admit that it is an “ambitious” total, but also note that the “distinctively upbeat” air of the conference lent itself to optimistic attitudes. Both public and private institutions will be tapped for funding; the Fund has even established a new funding model to attract more investments. Touting features like a flexible timeline, a focus on high disease burden and low resources, and improved grant management, this new process is designed to both increase the Fund’s ability to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria, while further eroding possible reasons to avoid giving. With enough help, we can create a world that is free from these terrible illnesses, and the suffering they bring.
– Jake Simon
Sources: Devex, The Global Fund