It’s been two weeks (or three?) since my last Aid Organisation post and I still haven’t shared a word about the Global Poverty Ambassador training, which was now a month ago. I openly confess my blogger failings, although not without my excuses! I’ve been busy campaigning this month to ensure that the UK government maintains its commitment to spending 0.7% of the gross national income on international aid. The budget came out on Wednesday and I’m happy to report that our efforts paid off and, to borrow from Andrew Mitchell’s statement from earlier in the year, the books have not been balanced on the backs of the world’s poorest! I could go on for ages about the amazing progress that has been made from spending on international aid, but for now it’s time to focus on one specific aid organisation.
Tomorrow, March 24th, is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day so it seems fitting to take a look at The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
When and how did they get started? The Global Fund began as a series of discussions in the late 1990s about developments in the effective prevention and treatment of AIDS, TB, and malaria. Global leaders and public health officials were grappling with the devastating impact HIV/AIDS had in parts of Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia and searching for ways to make lifesaving drugs accessible to those who needed them most, but for whom these medications had been priced out of reach. A solution was sought to find ways to reduce the cost of essential medicines and to increase public spending so that treatment and prevention of these three diseases became globally accessible. At the 2000 G8 meeting in Japan, leaders acknowledged the need for greater resources and in 2001, at an African leaders summit in Nigeria, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for the creation of a global fund to channel those resources. In 2002 The Global Fund was created and approved its first round of grants to 36 countries. (History)
What is their focus? Quite simply, the vision of The Global Fund is “a world free from the burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria” (Who We Are). In order to make their vision a reality The Global Fund strategically invests money by providing grants for country based programs that aim to prevent and treat AIDS, TB, and malaria. The Global Fund has been recognised for its leadership in transparency and accountability by investing only in programs with demonstrated results and monitoring those programs to ensure they are meeting agreed targets. By ensuring that grants are only provided for programs that will make the best use of the funds, The Global Fund has significantly changed the course of AIDS, TB, and malaria and has saved an estimated 7.7 million lives in 150 countries. (Who We Are)
What can I do to get involved? The primary way to assist The Global Fund in the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria is to donate. However, The Global Fund is currently asking donor countries to increase their support for the Fund so that it can continue its vital work. I encourage you to take a few minutes to write to your MP, explain the importance of the Fund and its incredible impact on development (let them know that the Fund currently saves 3600 lives every day!), ask for their support, and then ask them to send along your letter to Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell (in the UK), or to the MInister of International Cooperation, Honourable Beverly J. Oda (in Canada) asking them to increase national funding for The Global Fund.