Innovative Finance

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The Global Fund / David O'Dwyer

Significant investments in health over the past two decades have yielded striking progress in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Much of that has come through domestic resource mobilization and traditional development assistance, but the health financing landscape is shifting. Domestic funding is accelerating, and there is both a need by and an interest from the private sector to engage. Building upon these trends, the Global Fund partnership is innovating – pursuing new opportunities to further finance and accelerate the fight to end the epidemics.

The Global Fund connects countries with diverse partners – private sector investors, philanthropists, civil society organizations, and multilateral donors – to develop and implement practical, innovative finance mechanisms to increase the impact against the three diseases. These solutions complement government spending and amplify domestic health financing.

We are uniquely positioned to enable innovative finance to have a catalytic effect. Our experience shows that innovative finance can have significant impact by:

  • Raising funds for program delivery
  • Fostering innovation
  • Increasing efficiency
  • Supporting countries in transition and ensuring sustainability

Innovative financing platforms

Our partnership focuses on key innovative financing platforms, outlined on this page, that complement the Global Fund’s funding model and government spending and that increase impact by:

  • Increasing funding for health programs beyond traditional funding mechanisms, both at a Global Fund level and directly at the implementing country level
  • Enhancing the efficiency and impact of our health programs

Consumer donations

The Global Fund fosters partnerships that empower millions of individuals to contribute to the cause of global health. We work with organizations that raise funds when individuals purchase products or services, or create grassroots fundraising mechanisms. Some or all of the proceeds support Global Fund-supported programs.

(RED) works with the world’s most iconic brands and organizations to develop (RED)-branded products and services that, when purchased, activate corporate giving to the Global Fund. (RED) has generated over US$600 million to support the fight against AIDS in Africa through the Global Fund.

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The Global Fund / John Rae

Philanthropic platforms

Innovative philanthropic investment funds enable different types of investors, foundations, philanthropic leaders and others to pool their financial contributions to the fight. These pooled funding mechanisms aim to mobilize and distribute funds in a more coordinated and efficient way. Pooled fund investing is used to leverage financial resources as well as expertise to support Global Fund-backed health programs.

“Investors no longer need to choose between doing well and doing good. It is becoming easier to meet both goals at the same time. And this has never been more important.”
Patrick Odier, Senior Managing Partner of Lombard Odier Group, on its partnership with the Global Fund

Duet Private Equity, committed to promoting social change in the countries where it invests, partnered with the Global Fund to form the Africa Private Equity Fund. The fund will invest US$300 million in East, West and Francophone Africa.

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The Global Fund / Petterik Wiggers
The Global Fund / John Rae

The India Health Fund is an innovative pooled financing platform by Tata Trusts, in partnership with the Global Fund. The fund pools private sector resources and expertise in the fight against TB and malaria in India.

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Debt swaps

The Global Fund’s Debt2Health program converts debt repayments into lifesaving investments in health. Under individually negotiated “debt swap” agreements, an implementing country agrees to invest in programs to fight the three diseases or strengthen health systems through the Global Fund. In return, a creditor country cancels debt owed by the implementing country.

Since the inception of Debt2Health in 2007, seven implementing countries – Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Pakistan – have invested nearly US$127 million in domestic health programs through the Global Fund. In return, Australia, Germany and Spain have canceled debt in those implementing countries.

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The Global Fund / Sarah Hoibak

Emerging financing tools

The Global Fund is building on our experience and partnership to amplify impact through a range of additional financing platforms.


Blended finance

Blended finance combines Global Fund grants with other sources of financing, including investments from development finance institutions. Health programs can be conditional on, or implemented in coordination with, investments from funding partners.

  • The Global Fund is working with Lives and Livelihoods Fund, a collaboration between the Gates Foundation and Islamic Development Bank that provides affordable financing through a combination of grants and concessional loans. Learn more
  • Loan buy-downs can increase domestic financing, accelerate investments in prevention and scale up services. The Global Fund is investing US$40 million to help India secure a US$400 million loan from the World Bank to fight tuberculosis.
  • In Central America, we support the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative, which uses a mix of grants and concessional loans for collaborative programs to eliminate malaria in participating countries.
  • We are expanding partnerships with development finance institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others.

Results-based financing

Results-based financing is the disbursement grant funds after pre-agreed results are achieved at specific milestones. One form of this financing is known as “cash on delivery.”

  • The Global Fund has supported results-based financing models in countries like Solomon Islands, El Salvador and Rwanda.
  • In Rwanda, we support a results-based financing approach called the National Strategy Financing model. It enables Rwanda to evaluate performance against pre-defined targets and shift resources as priorities change.

Outcome-based financing

Outcome-based financing is the disbursement of funds after pre-defined outcomes are achieved, with the donor or private investor generally providing upfront financing to a program implementer. If the pre-agreed outcomes of the program are met, the investment is repaid, often with a financial return. This financing includes social impact bonds, which focus investments toward programs that yield effective social outcomes in the fight against the three diseases.

  • In South Africa, the Global Fund supports a social impact bond to address HIV in adolescent girls and young women.
  • In countries in Africa and potentially Asia, we are exploring an outcomes-based financing approach for malaria elimination and primary health.
  • In Fiji, we have worked with the Ministry of Health on a social impact bond supporting TB case finding and community treatment models.

New possibilities

We are constantly exploring new possibilities for partnerships and funding sources to increase our impact and save more lives. We follow a structured approach to identify innovative finance mechanisms and apply them to specific situations to enhance impact. Read more in our Forming Partnerships page and in our reports:

  • A Structured Approach for Innovative Finance - Increasing Financial Innovation
    download in English
  • Update on Innovative Financing
    download in English

Published 09 March 2019