By: Melanie Rhodes
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has helped save 27 million lives since its creation in 2002. That’s 27 million people who can live, work, attend school, and contribute to their communities without the burden of HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria!
We now know what is possible, but there is no room for complacency. The fact is, despite progress, a resurgence of these three epidemics is no longer just a threat, it’s a reality. We need to revive the energy that has driven so much progress so far because the stakes today are higher than ever.
Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of The ONE Campaign and (RED), said: “We’re at a dangerous point in the journey to end AIDS, TB and malaria. Complacency is setting in. Some people think these diseases are in the rear-view mirror, but not the 7,000 people who will die from them today, or their families.”
A fight we can win
The Global Fund — a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases — supports programs run by local experts in countries and communities that need it the most. It is one of the most effective organisations fighting AIDS, TB and malaria, and it is crucial that it gets the money it needs.
In October 2019, the Global Fund will host a meeting in France to raise new funds and mobilize partners – known as a replenishment. The Fund just announced that it is seeking US$14 billion to continue its life-saving work for the next three years. If it meets this goal, the Fund could help save 16 million lives between 2021 – 2023.
Gayle Smith, CEO and President of ONE, said: “Today alone, nearly a thousand young women will contract HIV. Neither we nor the millions of women and girls at risk can afford to be complacent in this fight against destructive diseases. Leaders from all over the world, from governments and opposition, have joined forces over the last 15 years to score victories in the fight against this epidemic – we know what to do, we need to do more, and we need to do it now.”
A fight we will win
Before the Global Fund, AIDS, TB and malaria appeared to be unstoppable. In many countries, AIDS devastated an entire generation, leaving countless orphans and shattered communities. Malaria killed young children and pregnant women unable to protect themselves from mosquitoes or access life-saving medicine. TB unfairly afflicted people living in poverty. But, the world fought back and millions of lives have been saved.
We now need the financial and political commitments to keep up the fight, and win!
You can help make that happen by becoming a Toda Africa member and joining the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.