GFATM - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The GFATM is an independent, non-profit foundation that was incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002. Its purpose is to attract and disburse additional resources to more successfully prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Being mainly a financial institution and not an implementing entity, it works through collaborations with country-based partners.

The Global Fund thus provides grants to local development programmes while working together with governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector, development agencies and the communities affected by these diseases. To ensure high levels of accountability, efficiency and the effectiveness of the programmes receiving funding, the GFATM uses a performance-based funding model. This means that partners are supported according to the results they achieve, which are linked to an effective monitoring and evaluation system.


For 2012–2016, the GFATM aims to contribute to international goals by saving 10 million lives and preventing 140–180 million new HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria infections. These goals are complemented by disease-specific targets aligned with the global goals set by UNAIDS, the World Health Organisation and the Stop Tuberculosis and Roll Back Malaria partnerships.

Soon after its foundation, the GFATM became the main multilateral funder in global health. It channels two-thirds of the international financing provided to fight tuberculosis and malaria and a fifth of the international financing against AIDS.

Since its foundation, it has approved disbursements of US$22.9 billion for more than 1,000 programs in more than 150 countries.

Results in the fight against malaria

Since its foundation, GFATM has approved funding of US$22.6 billion for more than 1,000 programmes in more than 150 countries. To prevent malaria, for example, between 2002 and the end of 2010, GFATM-supported programmes distributed 160 million insecticide-treated nets. In 2010, 42% of African households owned at least one net. In addition, programmes supported by GFATM sprayed 31 million rooms with insecticides to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
GFATM also supported the treatment of 170 million malaria cases between 2002 and 2010.

Switzerland’s commitment

Working with the GFATM is highly advantageous for Switzerland in working towards its objectives for health cooperation.

  • Reduce the burden of HIV/AIDS and malaria through effective targeting, investment and partnership coordination
  • Strengthen local health systems and capacities
  • Strengthen the Global Fund’s contribution to improving aid effectiveness both at local and global levels
  • Support monitoring mechanisms and country engagement to better reflect the needs of countries and realities at the global level (multi-/bilateral approach)


Thanks to its active contribution in different committees and within its constituency with Canada, Switzerland was able to influence the discussions and decisions in the GFATM Board:

  • Thanks to its credibility and its strong participation and despite its relatively low share of financial contributions, Switzerland also became an alternate board member of its constituency.
  • Within its constituency, Switzerland coordinated stronger country commitments between the cooperation offices of Switzerland, Canada and Germany through discussion of field experiences at the board meetings.
  • An alliance with NGOs in developing countries was launched.


In 2011/2012 important organisational changes took place, in particular in the areas of the funding model and financial management. To ensure for the future that grants are better allocated in a spirit of partnership with countries and aligned with their priorities, successful implementation of the new funding model needs to be demonstrated at all levels.

Investing financial resources more strategically is another major challenge for the coming years. To avoid inadvertently distorting recipient countries’ health systems as a result of its disease specific mandate, the GFATM ought to pay more attention to strengthening health systems in general.

Additional information