Created in 2002 by Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria is an independent, nonprofit foundation. It is governed by an international board that is currently chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The foundation’s goal is to act quickly and effectively to mobilize resources for combating HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The foundation is governed by an international board that consists of representatives of donor and recipient governments, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector (including businesses and philanthropic organizations), and affected communities.
In mobilizing resources, the Global Fund operates as a financial instrument to attract, manage, and disburse funding to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide through a competitive grant support mechanism. It seeks to fund projects that will form new or innovative alliances with governments, civil society, the private sector, and affected communities, which in turn will create local ownership of programs. The fund’s existence is based on strong public– private partnerships, results-based management, and a focus on local capacity building.
Grant applications are evaluated by an independent technical review panel of disease-specific and cross-cutting health and development experts. In the evaluation process, funding priority is given to countries with the highest incidence of disease and the fewest financial resources and to programs that can coordinate and strengthen existing health systems. Additional weight is given to applications built on proven best practices that incorporate the principles of results-based management and strong mechanisms of accountability for both in-country and fund project managers. Funded projects cannot replace or reduce existing sources of funding.
Since its inception, the Global Fund has attracted over US$5 billion in pledges from donor nations, foundations, corporations, and individuals; the total paid to the fund to date is just over US$2 billion. Since the review of three proposal rounds in April 2002 and January and October 2003, project grants total US$2 billion over 2 years to support 224 programs in 121 countries and 3 territories worldwide.
With Global Fund resources, approved local programs will support an unprecedented scale-up of ART. Over 5 years, an estimated 700,000 people will receive ART, more than tripling current coverage in poor countries (including a 10-fold increase in Africa). The Global Fund will also reach 1 million children orphaned by AIDS; provide treatment for nearly 3 million people with infectious tuberculosis, tripling the coverage of treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; and finance 22 million combination drug treatments for resistant malaria. The Global Fund proves that with cooperation, goals can be achieved.
SOURCES: The Global Fund, 2003a,b; 2004a,b; U.S. Department of State, 2004.