History of the Global Fund

In 2000, 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 lifesaving medicine. TB unfairly afflicted people living in poverty, as it had for millennia.

The idea for the Global Fund arose from a wellspring of grassroots political advocacy coming face-to-face with the imperatives of global leadership. AIDS, TB and malaria are all preventable and treatable – but solving this problem requires the commitment not only of world leaders and decision-makers, but also of those working on the ground to support the men, women and children living with these diseases.

“When I first mooted the idea of the Global Fund, people said I was dreaming… I love dreams. It always starts with a dream.”
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

The idea was discussed at a G8 summit in Okinawa, Japan, in 2000. The real commitment began to coalesce at the African Union summit in April 2001, continued at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session in June of that year, and was finally endorsed by the G8 at their summit in Genoa, Italy, in July 2001. A Transitional Working Group was established to determine the principles and working modalities of the new organization, and the Global Fund came into being in January 2002.

As a partnership of governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, the Global Fund pools the world’s resources to invest strategically in programs to end AIDS, TB and malaria as public health threats. Since our creation, more than US$60 billion has been disbursed in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and for programs to strengthen systems for health across more than 155 countries, including regional grants, making us one of the largest funders of global health.

“The Global Fund is one of the best and kindest things people have ever done for one another. It is a fantastic vehicle for scaling up the treatments and preventive tools we have today – to make sure they reach the people who need them.”
Bill Gates at the Opening Ceremony of the 16th International AIDS Conference

Working together, these smart, effective health investments through the Global Fund have saved 59 million lives and provided prevention, treatment and care services to hundreds of millions of people. Together with our partners, we’re helping to revitalize entire communities, strengthen local health systems and improve economies.