By Emily Goulding
ONE is currently in Canada for the Global Fund Replenishment and we are very excited. Now, we know conferences/funds/replenishments aren’t always the coolest, but this one has the potential to save 8 MILLION lives. Here’s how:
1. The Global Fund is the only multilateral organization that focuses solely on eradicating AIDS, TB, and malaria.
Despite great progress over recent decades, AIDS, TB, and malaria still account for more than 3 million deaths every year and cost millions in lost economic productivity. By tackling these diseases, we are not just saving lives in the least developed countries (LDCs). Investing in more resilient health systems helps prevent new outbreaks of deadly diseases like Ebola, which threaten all of us. Healthier populations will strengthen the economies of LDCs, which in turn means more stable trading partners for economies around the globe. The positive impacts of defeating these three diseases are clearly far-reaching, but more importantly, are achievable within our lifetime if we invest in the Global Fund.
2. The Global Fund has a strong track record of success.
Since 2002, the Global Fund has saved 20 million lives. That’s equivalent to the population of Romania! And, if it meets its next replenishment target, it is on track to save another 8 million lives by 2020 – roughly the population of Switzerland. There are also 1/3 fewer deaths from Aids, TB and Malaria in countries where the Global Fund invests, showing that their programmes are working. The Global Fund has also provided:
- Antiretroviral treatment for 9.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS
- Treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission for 3.6 million HIV-positive pregnant women
- Insecticide-treated bed nets to protect 659 million families from malaria
- Detection and treatment services for 15.1 million cases of TB
3. The Global Fund uses innovative approaches to maximize impact.
The Global Fund’s strategy is to “Invest for Impact” by taking innovative approaches to global health. One of its strategies is to partner with organisations across all sectors (governments, corporations, academia and NGOs) to harness technical expertise, share information and work together to find solutions. For example, it has worked with the Coca-Cola Company to strengthen and improve medical supply chains in remote parts of Africa. Another strategy is to require domestic governments to co-finance projects, which increases country ownership and the long-term sustainability of development programs.
4. It has programs targeted at women and girls.
In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as young men to be living with HIV, and over 850 young women age 15-24 are infected with HIV each day. So, interventions targeted at women and girls are important, but not only to avoid deaths. Enabling women to live healthy lives and participate in paid employment lifts everyone out of poverty. The UN Women argues that investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards poverty eradication (not to mention gender equality and inclusive economic growth). The good news is that 60 percent of the Global Fund’s spending is specifically targeted to women and girls.
5. Its spending is transparent—we know where the money goes.
The Global Fund ranks highly across the board in the most recent Aid Transparency Index, and openly publishes all audits and investigations by the Office of the Inspector General. This is crucial, because we can be certain that every dollar given to the Global Fund goes towards programs that save lives.
We’re calling on world leaders to replenish the Global Fund with US$13 billion this September. By pledging this money, international governments will help to save another 8 million lives by 2020 and ensure their aid has the greatest impact possible on poverty.