Here’s how ONE activists helped the Global Fund break records

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has secured US$14 billion in pledges for its life-saving work over the next three years — the largest replenishment of a multilateral health organisation in history.

We’ve been campaigning in support of the Global Fund over the past year to make sure world leaders were committed to stepping up the fight ahead of the 2019 replenishment in Lyon. And thanks to these efforts, every market where we campaigned reached — or exceeded — their target pledges. Like every ONE campaign, we rely on our staff, volunteers and members, and every win we achieve is the result of a team effort among our activists.

Here’s a look at our global efforts over the past year to secure US$14 billion to tackle three of the world’s deadliest diseases.


In replenishment host country France, our activists worked hard right up to the moment the US$14 billion was announced. Starting over the summer, our Youth Ambassadors raised awareness at five summer festivals, urging festival-goers to take our quiz to raise awareness for the three diseases, sign the petition, and write postcards to French President Emmanuel Macron. In the lead up to the replenishment in Lyon, French Youth Ambassadors attended three events in different French cities, where other NGOs also made their voices heard with a clear objective: gather as many petition signatures as possible.

French Youth Ambassadors and ONE Champions from Nigeria and Mali took their voices to the streets of Lyon ahead of the replenishment conference. They visited (RED) street murals, and met (RED) ambassador and activist Connie Mudenda, who shared her inspiring fight against AIDS and her story of how she raised her healthy daughter, with needed treatments, thanks to the Global Fund. Our activists gathered dozens people to form a giant human red ribbon, and they ran a booth with our superhero quiz in the Palais des Congrès, the location of the replenishment.

The day before the replenishment, they attended a dinner where big companies were encouraged to increase their pledges for the Global Fund. And they led discussions with our co-founder Bono, philanthropist Bill Gates and President Macron to ask them to be ambitious in the fight against these three deadly diseases. Youth Ambassadors made their voices heard until the last minute in Lyon, handing in our global petition to the French Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn. And they were there to celebrate when our goal of raising US$14 billion was realised.

— Anaïs Martinon, France Campaigns Coordinator


We kicked off campaigning earlier this year with postcards to Minister Maryam Monsef. Our members stepped up and sent THOUSANDS of postcards — followed with hundreds of emails to the minister, over 1,000 Canada Day emails to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, hundreds of tweets and dozens of letters to their local newspaper. We worked closely with Loyce Maturu from the Global Fund Advocates Network, whose op-ed in The Globe and Mail turned up the heat. ONE members in London, Abuja and Dakar all visited Canadian embassies to encourage Canada to step up the fight. The campaign reached a high point at Pride Montréal, where we worked with HIV/AIDS organizations from Québec to share the message that any investment less than CA$925 million was not enough. ONE volunteers from Montréal took advantage of Prime Minister Trudeau attending the parade to share thousands of rainbow-coloured stickers with a clear message that Canada can help end AIDS by 2030.

Finally, after eight months of constant pressure, and less than a week after our activities in Montréal, Minister Monsef announced CA$930 million during an event in Toronto. In response, our members thanked Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Monsef, and we continued the celebration at the pride parade in Ottawa.

— Paul Galipeau, Canada Campaigns Manager


Ireland delivered an early pledge, before our global campaign officially kicked off, and ONE Youth Ambassadors were quick to congratulate the government on Twitter. After hearing the good news, we reached out to our members and Youth Ambassadors to gather messages for a thank you card that was hand delivered to the government representative and Minister for Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone at the Youth Ambassador launch in Dublin.

— Jasmine Wakeel, U.K. Campaigns Coordinator


Our campaign to support the Global Fund replenishment kick-started with the World Health Assembly in Geneva. We sent letters to the African health ministers chairing the Africa group to encourage them to discuss the global fund and make a statement of support to the replenishment. Following Nelson Mandela Day, we reached out to ONE members in Africa who had signed our petition and asked them to share the petition across Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Our supporters across Africa tweeted at their respective health ministers, calling on them to make bold commitments to the Global Fund. Ahead of the African Union health ministers meeting, we lobbied the AU intensively to include the Global Fund replenishment on the agenda and mobilised our Africa members to take action by again tweeting at their health ministers, highlighting just how serious they were about their governments making formal commitments to the Global Fund replenishment.

As a result, the ministers adopted a decision which urged Member States and partners to honour the commitments for the replenishment of the Global Fund in accordance with the AU Assembly Declaration of February 2019.

— Edwin Ikhuoria, Africa Executive Director (interim)

United Kingdom

Following dedicated months of campaigning, we were delighted to receive a bold pledge from the U.K. government that will help save up to 2 million lives. We had so many exciting campaign activities from kick off until the pledge announcement, including handing our petition to No.10 Downing Street, a health heroes event in the House of Commons, lobby days in Parliament and community action. We even had support from a famous face: actor and advocate Michael Sheen helped us get even more crucial MP supporters on board with our Global Fund campaigning.

— Jasmine Wakeel, U.K. Campaigns Coordinator


In the run-up to the G7 Summit in France, where Germany’s Global Fund pledge was officially announced, we started a petition to convince German politicians to engage in the fight against AIDS. To back up this action, our supporters wrote letters to German Minister for Development Gerd Müller. Our amazing Youth Ambassadors even went to his constituency to deliver the letter personally and to talk to locals about the action. Our Youth Ambassador Janice met Mr. Müller to hand over the petition and discuss the importance of the Global Fund. After hearing the good news about Germany’s commitment to the Global Fund, we are sending thank you messages to Prime Minister Angela Merkel, who made the announcement in Biarritz.

— ONE’s team in Germany

United States

U.S. volunteers spent the past year campaigning to secure a strong pledge to meet the United States’ historic one-third commitment to the Global Fund. Volunteers started by gathering 4,800 postcards to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last fall to try to influence the Trump administration’s budget request. Then in February, volunteers traveled to Capitol Hill for more than 200 meetings with Congress, urging them to step up the fight. U.S. volunteers spent the rest of 2019 rallying their communities — everywhere from small gatherings in coffee shops and churches, to huge music festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. They got creative with (RED), taking action with a Truff hot sauce challenge twist, got mindful and limber with some Yoga activism at Wanderlust festivals, and helped paint the world (RED) through street art to draw attention to the fight against AIDS. U.S. volunteers even became human billboards in support of the Global Fund at the Congressional Softball and Baseball games in Washington, DC.

After tens of thousands of advocacy actions — including handwritten letters, tweets, emails, media published in local papers, and local engagements with congressional members — we saw over half of the U.S. Congress (285 representatives and senators) go on the record publicly in support of the Global Fund, sending a strong signal to the rest of the world ahead of the replenishment conference in Lyon.

— Charlie Harris, Associate Director, Membership Mobilization


Despite a government crisis in Italy, our Italian Youth Ambassadors and members continued the fight to secure a pledge for the Global Fund. We mass-tweeted at Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte while he was on his way to the G7 Summit with a simple message: Italy’s leadership in the fight against three of the deadliest diseases is key. And those efforts were crucial to securing a pledge from Italy. Prime Minister Conte received hundreds of emails and tweets, Youth Ambassadors delivered 400+ handwritten postcards to the international development minister, and there were over 100 media mentions of the Youth Ambassadors’ awareness-raising activities in their communities.

— Caterina Scuderi, Italy Campaigns Coordinator


We also worked hard to make sure the European Union was committed to the Global Fund. Félicitas, a medical student and German Youth Ambassador in Belgium, wrote a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with other YAs in Europe also co-signing the letter. Félicitas attended the Friends of Global Fund Meeting and pushed European Commissioner for Development Neven Mimica to make an early commitment to the fund. Youth Ambassadors then took to Twitter to ask Juncker to take Felicita’s letter into account, and our members urged Juncker to act against AIDS. To put some final pressure during the summer, our YAs sent handwritten postcards to Mr. Juncker and EU Council President Donald Tusk about the importance of investing €580 million to the Global Fund. During the G7 Summit, they also dressed up as superheroes and sent several tweets and messages urging them to make concrete commitments.

— Guadalupe de la Casas, Media Manager

A Global Success

The new funding will help to save 16 million lives and move forward the fight to end the AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics by 2030. This record-breaking replenishment saw the biggest ever investment from private sector donors and renewed pledges from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, the EU and Italy — which all increased their commitment by over 15% — and from France, which increased its contribution by more than 20%.

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