Written by Kevin Wafula
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Thursday renewed its commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Gates Foundation is giving $750 million through a promissory note—a new and innovative funding mechanism.
“These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “The Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money every year.”
Providing funding through a promissory note gives the Global Fund the flexibility and authority to distribute funds efficiently based on immediate needs, leading to greater impact.
“By supporting the Global Fund, we can help to change the fortunes of the poorest countries in the world,” said Gates. “I can’t think of more important work.”
Global Fund financing helps developing countries fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This public-private partnership creates economic opportunity and makes those living in poverty less dependent on aid.
Since 2002, investments in the Global Fund have financed innovative prevention and treatment programs in 150 countries with high burdens of disease. The Global Fund continues to save 100,000 lives a month. The Fund has provided antiretroviral treatment to 3.3 million people, detected and treated 8.2 million people with tuberculosis, and provided 230 million bed nets to families to prevent malaria.
The new commitment is in addition to the $650 million the Gates Foundation has already contributed since the Global Fund was launched 10 years ago at the World Economic Forum, which convenes the world’s top business and political leaders.
The foundation commends the recent political and financial commitments to the Global Fund by donor governments. All donors – rich, middle-income and poor countries as well as the private sector – must continue to invest in the lifesaving work of the Global Fund.
On the heels of releasing his fourth annual letter yesterday in London, Gates continued to challenge global leaders to invest in innovations that are accelerating progress against poverty or risk a future where millions needlessly die. While there has been tremendous progress against AIDS, TB and malaria, more must be done. Through unique partnerships and new financing mechanisms, the global community has the opportunity to have an even greater impact and save more lives.