The Global Fund is an independent non-profit foundation whose purpose is to eliminate AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria as epidemics. The Global Fund was founded in 2002 in Geneva as a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by these diseases. The Global Fund is responsible for raising and providing additional funds to support programmes implemented by local experts in countries and communities most in need.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – Global Fund
The Global Fund was founded with the aim of raising, managing and investing funds to combat three of the most devastating diseases that tend to disproportionately affect the poorest and weakest segments of societies worldwide. It mobilises almost USD 4 billion a year, which it disburses in the form of grants to support programmes combating AIDS, TB and malaria in low-income countries and regions, many of which are severely affected by the consequences of these diseases. Through its partnership with the Global Fund, Switzerland assists low and middle-income countries in improving the health of their populations. The Global Fund achieves this by providing, among other things, high-quality medications, diagnostic tests and other products essential to combating these diseases, such as mosquito nets.
The Global Fund is the most important multilateral financing instrument in the fight against malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, particularly in low-income countries, where these diseases are endemic.
Between 2002 and 2018, the Global Fund:
- invested USD 19.6 billion in programmes for the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS. It currently provides 20% of all international funding to combat HIV/AIDS;
- spent USD 8.2 billion on TB programmes. It currently provides 69% of all international funding to combat tuberculosis;
- invested USD 11.4 billion in malaria control programmes. It currently provides 57% of all international funding to combat malaria.
Facts and figures
Although remarkable progress has been made in recent years in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with 27 million lives saved by the Global Fund partnership, the goal of eliminating these epidemic diseases has not been reached. Almost 1,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV every day. A child dies of malaria every two minutes. TB remains the deadliest infectious disease in the world.
The Global Fund works together with governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector, development agencies and the communities affected by these diseases. It uses a performance-based funding model that is dependent on verifiable results achieved by its partners. This ensures a cost-effective and efficient implementation of the programmes as well as careful monitoring of the results.
Aims of the Global Fund
The 2017–22 strategy 'Investing to end epidemics' underscores the central mission of the Global Fund whilst affirming that the endeavours to eliminate the three diseases must be accompanied by strenuous efforts to improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable population groups. It establishes four strategic objectives:
- to maximise impact against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria
- to promote and protect human rights and gender equality
- to build resilient and sustainable systems for health
- to mobilise increased resources
This strategy is consistent with the relevant global guidelines on HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria issued by UNAIDS, the WHO and the partnerships Stop TB and Roll Back Malaria. Its implementation will contribute to combating the three diseases as well as to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
The following cumulative results were achieved by programmes supported by the Global Fund between 2002 and the end of 2016:
- The number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria was reduced by a third in the countries where the Global Fund invests.
- 11 million people received antiretroviral therapy for HIV – more than half the total number of people entitled to a treatment worldwide.
- 17.4 million people were treated for TB.
- 795 million mosquito nets were distributed in the context of malaria control programmes.
The priorities of the Global Fund are consistent with the strategic aims of the Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–20, in which health is a central issue. The partnership with the Global Fund contributes to the achievement of Switzerland’s objectives for health cooperation, as defined in Switzerland’s foreign policy on health and the SDC's health policy.
Through its cooperation with the Global Fund, Switzerland aims:
- to mobilise Switzerland’s internationally renowned expertise, for example, in the fight against malaria;
- to ensure that the programmes supported by the Global Fund are coordinated with measures taken by other health organisations such as the WHO, as well as with national health planning. This applies in particular to countries where Switzerland is involved in health cooperation, as it enables the executive boards of multilateral organisations to benefit from Switzerland’s experience;
- to enhance the coordination structures at country level (Country Coordinating Mechanisms), which enable the various state and non-state actors in healthcare to jointly identify their countries' requirements, to apply for disbursements from the Global Fund, and to monitor their use;
- to contribute to measures that ensure the long-term control of epidemic diseases after the end of the funding cycle;
- to support institutional improvements to the Global Fund, particularly in the form of effective risk management, corporate governance in practice and exemplary ethical behaviour.
Switzerland has allocated a core contribution of CHF 57 million for the 2017–19 period. In cooperation with Germany, it also offers expert support through the health programme BACKUP Health to improve implementation of the programmes funded by the Global Fund.
Switzerland shares a joint seat on the Global Fund executive board with Canada and Australia. Through its active engagement in the executive board, Switzerland influences the strategic direction of the Global Fund.
Switzerland was actively involved in formulating the Global Fund's 2017–22 strategy and worked to ensure that 'building resilient and sustainable systems for health' was established as a strategic objective. This is an important step in the Global Fund’s continuing reorientation away from a purely disease-based focus and towards a more comprehensive contribution to achieving universal healthcare. Given the changes in the epidemiological environment, such a reorientation is essential.
Switzerland has long been involved at multilateral and bilateral levels in strengthening national coordination structures (Country Coordinating Mechanisms), which encourage countries to assume responsibility in the area of health.