Pledges have been made this week for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — from Saudi Arabia to Bill Gates. Will there be more in coming days?
The Global Fund has been hailed by many for the successes it has achieved in a decade. U.N. FoundationPresident Timothy Wirth said the fund has expanded HIV prevention to millions, decreased the number of annual cases of tuberculosis since 2006 and reduced the number of malaria cases by 17 percent globally between 2000 and 2010.
Irish singer Bono, meanwhile, put the fund’s achievements in numbers. He said the fund has put 3.3 million people on antiretroviral drugs, made interventions for 1.3 million pregnant women, distributed 230 million bed nets, diagnosed and treated 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis, and placed in care 5.6 million orphans.
“7.7 million people are alive because of the Global Fund. It’s a breath-taking achievement,” Bono said.
But, perhaps, the Global Fund’s impact can be best described through the communities it has served.
Natasha Bilimoria, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, mentioned the TEMA and Korel BU Teaching Hospitals in Accra, Ghana, in an AlertNet op-ed. Bilimoria said the hospitals — financed by the fund in partnership with RED and the Ghanian Ministry of Health — boast a 100 percent success rate in preventing HIV transmission to newborns. They are just part of the 1,000 programs the fund finances in 150 countries.
It is common knowledge, however, that the 10-year journey of the funding agency has not been a smooth road. Issues of corruption have been thrown at the Global Fund. It also had to cancel its 11th funding round last year after facing a financing shortfall.
However, with Global Fund taking on new leadership and with its staunch supporters remaining at its side, who knows what the year has in store for it.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.