Global Fund marks 10th anniversary

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Global Fund marks 10th anniversary

27 January 2012

A health care worker examines a child in l’Auberge de l’Amour Rédempteur clinic, Benin. The clinic benefits from Global Fund financing for antiretroviral and other HIV-related medicines, HIV testing, medical personnel and training of health workers.
Credit: The Global Fund / John Rae

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). Through all these years, the Global Fund has made a profound difference in saving millions of lives around the world. It has created momentum and helped countries achieve results.

In the past decade, the Global Fund has approved more than US$ 22.6 billion in grants to 150 countries. These grants are helping countries provide 3.3 million people access to HIV treatment and have ensured that more than one million pregnant women living with HIV have had access to antiretroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.

Praising the work of the Global Fund to date, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, to continue to support the global response against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“For the first time, the number of people falling ill with tuberculosis each year is declining. And malaria has been cut by more than half in 43 countries,” Mr Ban said during a dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the organization. “The Global Fund has contributed to international efforts to scale up prevention. And it has helped create a world where nearly seven million people lived longer, healthier lives thanks to antiretroviral treatment for HIV,” added Mr Ban.

Investments that make a difference

Since the inception of the Global Fund, UNAIDS has stressed its commitment and support. UNAIDS participates in Global Fund processes at the global, regional and national levels, and works to ensure that others, including partners from governments, civil society and the private sector can do the same.

At the global level, UNAIDS supports the Global Fund with strategic analysis, policy advice and technical expertise on AIDS to make the money work and, ultimately, to save lives.

Commending the Global Fund in its 10th anniversary, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé highlighted the work of the organization and specially the role of its Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine in the remarkable progress achieved in the AIDS response.  "Michel Kazatchkine is a passionate leader and powerful advocate for countries and people affected by HIV. I want to thank him for his outstanding commitment to the Global Fund and his pivotal contributions to the global AIDS response," said Mr Sidibé.

The Global Fund has contributed to international efforts to scale up prevention. And it has helped create a world where nearly seven million people lived longer, healthier lives thanks to antiretroviral treatment for HIV

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

In the last 10 years, UNAIDS has supported countries at all stages of the Global Fund grant cycle, including in the development of HIV grant proposals, the signing of grants, the building of capacity around programme implementation, and on monitoring and evaluation. Countries that have received UNAIDS support in proposal development reported more than 70% success compared to those that did not receive technical assistance from UNAIDS.

In 2011 alone, UNAIDS assistance enabled countries to address bottlenecks and release over US$600 million of blocked funds. In closed collaboration with the Global Fund staff, UNAIDS provided support to the national authorities (in more than 27 countries in 2011) and Principal Recipients to address major systemic bottlenecks in implementation on a range of issues such as stock-outs of ARVs and distribution challenges, strengthened management capacities and strengthening active participation of communities and people living with HIV. 

However, the Global Fund is facing a shortage of resources as a consequence of the international financial crisis.  The majority of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa—the region most affected by AIDS—depend on international aid to provide antiretroviral treatment for people living with HIV. Countries faced a major setback with the recent cancellation of Round 11 grants by the Global Fund.

UNAIDS is confident, that in the Global Fund’s transition phase, its transformation plan will help deliver further results. UNAIDS will continue to work in partnership with countries and with the Global Fund to reduce risks and ensure high-impact programmes continue on the ground.