Global Fund supporters call for Continuing action at tenth birthday

26 January 2012

DAVOS, Switzerland

Series of  portraits of global fund supporters – including Zackie Achmat, Tony Blair, Bono, Gro Harlem Brundtland,  President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Dr Milly Katana,  Ban Ki-Moon, Thandie Newton, Mphu Ramatlapeng, Jeff Sachs, and Yoshiro Mori to be unveiled at World Economic Forum.


  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria celebrates its tenth anniversary at World Economic Forum this year, looking forward to continuing its success in the battle across the world against three pandemics that truly threatened catastrophe a decade ago.
  • A powerful short film (6 mins) created by award-winning photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn tells the dramatic story of how the Fund helped turn a global disaster into a rare success story for international cooperation through key international figures who played major roles in its first ten years.  Filmed on four continents, the films subjects include: Zackie Achmat, Tony Blair, Bono, Gro Harlem Brundtland,  President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Dr Milly Katana, Mphu Ramatlapeng, Jeff Sachs, and Yoshiro Mori
  • An arresting series of portraits of the film’s subjects created by award-winning photographer Adrian Steirn, are set to be shown in Davos during the World Economic Forum, also including supporters Ban Ki-Moon and Thandie Newton.
  • The theme of the portraits - in effect continuing protest to ensure the Global Fund’s incredible foundation of success in 150 countries around the world is built upon and surpassed - is set to be mirrored globally as hundreds of thousands of supporters and stakeholder networks are asked to upload their own digital self-portraits in “Health For All”.

Michel Kazatchkine 
Executive Director, the Global Fund:  

“The story about the Global Fund is a story about how the world could actually come together and turn a hopeless situation into one of promise. This amazing film tells that story through the words of some of the people who were crucial in making this dramatic turnaround. It is fantastic to be reminded of how terrible the future looked for global health ten years ago, and how far we have come.”

Bill Gates 
Co-Founder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/ Chairman Microsoft:

“The world had no group that could figure out how to stop the AIDS Emergency and Malaria was being ignored. The idea of a new group seemed risky and yet it felt like the only way we could get all the resources together, be smart about how to spend those resources and really reach out to help people, particularly in Africa, who are suffering from these terrible diseases.

The Global Fund has a big challenge which is that more and more people reach the point in their disease where they need these drugs and only if the resources are there can these now low-cost drugs get to them.”

Dr Milly Katana 
AIDS Activist and  Global Fund Founding Board Member

“We really owe a lot of not only our health but also our economic livelihoods to programs like the Global Fund.  Everybody who cares about humanity must be very proud of the Global Fund.  We need to marshal additional resources so this funding mechanism, which is unique in its architecture, to be able to continue and support countries as part of the response to public health challenges.”

Co-founder, DATA/ONE and Product (RED)

“Ten years in, 3.3 million people on antiretroviral drugs, 1.3 million pregnant women who have interventions that will stop them passing the virus onto their babies, 230 million bed nets distributed, 8.6 million cases of Tuberculosis diagnosed and treated, 5.6 million orphans in care, 7.7 million people are alive because of the Global Fund.  It’s a breath-taking achievement.”

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair:
Former Prime Minister Great Britain and Northern Ireland

“The Global Fund is about the only time I can remember as a political leader when you set up something up that was supposed to have a dramatic impact – and it did actually have a dramatic impact.”

“We should be really proud of The Global Fund.  The impact is larger than any other programme of human compassion probably in history. But there is still a lot to do, so it’s very obvious and clear that we can carry on doing this.”

President Clinton: 
“When I was President and for the years before there, was a sharp global divide between the countries and citizens who could afford medicine and those who couldn’t, for diseases like AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In 2000 after the G8 Summit in Okinawa, Prime Minister Mori, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and I realised we had to take dramatic action to stem these diseases if we were ever going to see developing countries have their fair chance to compete and to thrive, in a globalised world.  I know it’s just been 10 years, but so much has been a accomplished. We can all be proud of what we’ve achieved with the Global Fund, and we must all be determined to finish the race.” 

Jeffrey Sachs: 
Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon / founder and co-President of the Millennium Promise Alliance/ Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University:

“It’s been the most innovative, single edition to the world’s armamentarium of decency that we have. It’s been the most important institutional breakthrough in the last 10 years for scaling up the fight against horrendous, but controllable, even solvable pandemic diseases. And it needs to be appreciated for that and the difference it has made.”

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori: 
“To be honest, I never expected, with the relatively little money we started, that we could achieve such a huge result.  I think that we should all be proud about the tenth anniversary of the Global Fund.”

Gro Harlem Brundtland: 
Former Prime Minister of Norway / former Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO)

“AIDS was increasing, year by year; tuberculosis in many parts of the world was not dealt with in any reasonable way;  malaria was a scourge, and very little was being done.

“We can be proud whenever the world is able to work together in such a way that we overcome misery and improve people’s rights and people’s opportunities in life. And this is one of the examples of good that has happened in the last 10 or 15 years.”

Mphu Ramatlapeng 
Vice Chair of the Global Fund Board/ Former Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Kingdom of Lesotho

“If we sustain the momentum it will be possible to have an HIV-free generation because of the Global Fund. If we are not going to sustain the global Fund the future is bleak. In Africa without a Global Fund we are nothing.  We cannot stop.”

Zackie Achmat 
Activist, Founder Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)

“I can imagine a world without the Global Fund, but then only if we’ve reached our goal of eradicating HIV, TB and Malaria. That’s when I want the Global Fund to end.

“The Global Fund was the most important multilateral effort in the post-war period because what it did is that it saved lives, it brought countries together, corporations together and it brought society enormous hope and the resources to deal with a very difficult epidemic.

“It’s one of the first development organizations globally that saves lives on the scale that needs to be saved.”

Notes to Editors:

Adrian Steirn Biography:

Adrian Steirn was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and trained at the San Francisco Academy of Fine Art.  He is the resident photographer for the World Wildlife Fund in South Africa. In 2009 he was named Nikon Africa Professional Photographer of the year and in 2010 he was awarded the honour of African Photographic Awards’ Photographer of the Year.

Having previously focused on fine art wildlife photography, since relocating to South Africa four years ago Steirn has created the 21 Icons Global Project, a visual celebration and intimate personal chronicle of the most iconic men and women of the 21st Century.

Born in part from Steirn’s desire to photograph Nelson Mandela, the first 21 Icons project will launch in South Africa in 2012.  It aims to inspire “the children of today to be the icons of tomorrow”, as well as support causes that will further the welfare and well-being of the next generation of global citizens.  A percentage of any revenue from the 21 Icons initiative in South Africa will go to the Mandela Foundation.  So far, Steirn has photographed a number of high profile South African figures including former President FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in addition to Nelson Mandela.

For The Global Fund's 10th Anniversary project Adrian Steirn and his shooting team captured portraits and interviews with key figures who have contributed to TGF's work.  Whilst in Ghana two weeks ago to shoot Jeffrey Sachs and Bono he contracted malaria, giving him a  personal understanding of the importance of having access to crucial medicines to fight the disease.  Thanks to that medicine he is in Davos to see the anniversary film released and to shoot further key figures who are pledging support for The Global Fund's work.

To watch the full film:  


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