BREAKING NEWS: On September 16 and 17, world leaders came together to raise nearly US$13 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Read more here.
What’s the most impressive thing you did last year? For me, it’s a tie between running a (very short) triathlon and finishing the Ben and Jerry’s Vermonster. I felt pretty good about that until this week, when I got the 2016 Result Report from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Last year alone, the Global Fund saved 3 million lives threatened by some of the world’s deadliest diseases—that’s equal to the entire population of Lithuania.
Now I’m impressed.
The Global Fund is the world’s “war chest” to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. The Results Report paints a pretty remarkable picture of the cumulative impact the Global Fund has had since it was launched in 2002. Here are the highlights and why they matter:
- 20 million lives saved: Measuring lives saved is one of the most important ways to quantify the impact of investing in health. Programs supported by the Global Fund had saved 20 million lives as of the end of 2015, and are on track to reach 22 million lives saved by the end of 2016.
- 9.2 million people on life-saving treatment for HIV: The Global Fund supports more than half of all people in the world on antiretroviral treatment (ART). This treatment pulls double duty in the fight against AIDS, allowing people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives and also helping prevent the spread of new infections.
- 15.1 million people have received TB treatment: TB is the number 1 infectious killer in the world, and the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. The Global Fund provides well over half of all international funding for TB, supporting prevention and treatment efforts in the hardest hit countries. Without these interventions, the number of deaths from TB in 2015 would have been over 3 times higher.
- 659 million mosquito nets distributed to prevent the spread of malaria: No doubt Global Fund support has contributed to recent news that malaria is no longer the leading cause of death among children in sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa, the continent with the highest malaria burden, the percentage of people at risk for malaria who have access to mosquito nets grew from 6 percent in 2005 to 62 percent in 2015 in countries where the Global Fund invests.
- 60% of programs address inequalities affecting women and girls: We know that “Poverty is Sexist” and the global AIDS epidemic is a sobering reminder of this. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age in low- and middle-income countries, and girls age 10-19 account for 75% of new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa. The Global Fund is at the forefront of global efforts to reverse these trends, and making strategic investments to reach the women and girls more in need.
While we pause to celebrate the impressive impacts the Global Fund has had to date, let’s remember we can’t stop here. Ensuring life-saving results like these continue for years to come will require renewed commitments from world leaders and the voices of people like you and me. Millions of lives hang in the balance.
In two weeks, leaders from around the world will gather in Montreal, Canada to announce how much funding their countries will contribute to the Global Fund for the next three years, with a goal of raising $13 billion. We don’t have to imagine what amazing impact these investments could have—experts estimate that $13 billion would allow the Global Fund to save up to 8 million lives, avert up to 300 million new infections across the three diseases, and contribute to broad economic gains of up to $290 billion over the coming decades.