Photo credit: Clyde Wills.
Every Halloween, I love watching the streets of Washington, D.C., fill up with some of my favorite superheroes: Superman, Katniss Everdeen, Troy Polamalu, Susan B. Anthony (who doesn’t love a nerdy costume every now and again?).
But in just a few weeks, a batch of slightly more buttoned-up heroes from around the world will meet in DC. Why? To announce how much money their countries plan to give to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria—and how many lives they can help save—for the next three years.
Just a decade ago, these three diseases were raging out of control, particularly in Africa. They killed more than 4 million people each year, leaving in their wake an immense human and economic toll. In response, leaders from around the world joined together in 2002 and created the Global Fund, pooling their resources together to more effectively tackle these diseases. A decade later, the Global Fund has become an indispensable tool in the fight, providing treatment, prevention, and care services to millions of people and helping to turn the tide on these diseases.
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In order to continue its important work, the Global Fund holds a replenishment meeting—essentially, a big fundraising meeting—every three years. The Global Fund gets its resources not only from traditional donors, but also from foundations, high-net-worth individuals, private sector companies, and emerging donor governments.
This year, the replenishment meeting will be hosted in DC, and the Global Fund is seeking as much as $15 billion—up from the roughly $10 billion it raised in its last replenishment—to scale up its important work.
Some countries, like the UK and the Nordic countries, have already stepped up their support in a big way. Others, including philanthropists such as Dr. Tahir from Indonesia and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have recently committed significant new resources, too. That’s huge because we need all the momentum we can get in this fight. We’ve made unbelievable progress against these three diseases, but if more donors don’t step up, something truly frightful could happen: these killers could resurge.
That’s where the US comes in. For the last decade, the US has been a true leader in the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria. But the US must solidify this leadership for the next three years to build on the gains we’ve fought so hard to achieve.
So we’re asking for President Obama to continue this unbelievable legacy by committing the US to provide one-third of all the Global Fund’s resources over the next three years (just like we’ve done for the last 10 years). Not only would this provide leverage for other donors considering their pledges; it would make President Obama the hands-down winner at any costume party in town (because everyone looks better in a cape).