News Releases

The Global Fund Welcomes Product RED

26 January 2006

New, Innovative Private Sector Initiative Will Increase Global Fund Resources and Improve Knowledge About the Global Fund Among Consumers

Davos - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria warmly welcomes the announcement here today of a new corporate initiative to create a sustainable and profitable brand - Product RED - which will raise funds for and awareness of the Global Fund and the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.

It is the first time that the world's leading companies have made a commitment to channel a percentage of profits from popular consumer products to assist in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which kills three million people every year. The money generated by the sale of RED products will support Global Fund-financed programs which positively impact the lives of women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

"By making socially responsible consumption appealing to consumers and profitable for companies, RED is pioneering a sustainable model for the involvement of the private sector in the fight against disease and poverty", said Dr Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "RED is not a charity or public fundraising campaign. It is a business proposition that brings together partners with distinct priorities into a mutually beneficial relationship. Companies expand their customer base and bottom-line by combining their products with a brand that is both culturally significant and compassionate, while the Global Fund and its recipients gain not only critical financial resources but also publicity for their work. As a result, RED has the potential to be larger and more sustainable than other private sector fundraising initiatives to date."

"One of the distinctive features of the Global Fund is its unique public-private partnership. The RED initiative exemplifies this partnership, and confirms the private sector as a committed stakeholder in realizing the vision and work of the Global Fund," said Dr Carol Jacobs, the Chair of the Global Fund Board. "We appreciate this initiative immensely and recognize Bono, Bobby Shriver of DATA and the CEO's and teams of the partner companies who have made this possible. The Board is also indebted to the our Private Sector Board member, Rajat Gupta, the Private Sector delegation focal point, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, and McKinsey & Company, who all helped facilitate this important initiative."

The Global Fund will channel proceeds from the sale of RED products to a set of existing grants, such as in Rwanda, where a dramatic scale-up of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment is underway. RED will capture the imagination of consumers around the world and engage them in the life-saving work in countries like Rwanda and have a broad reaching impact on the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The agreements with RED and its partner companies do not add significant administrative work for the Global Fund or its recipients, ensuring that the funds raised go to where they are needed most.

To date, the Global Fund has committed US$1.4 billion to HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. These programs have already used the funding to provide life-extending antiretroviral medications to 270,000 people living with AIDS and reached millions more with effective messages and tools to prevent infection with HIV. Half a million orphans have been reached with food, care and education.

The Global Fund needs additional resources to extend its successful programs and to launch new grants. This scale up is essential if the goal of universal access to prevention and treatment by 2010 is to be met. The Global Fund is seeking an additional US$3 billion for 2006-2007 in order to fully finance existing and new programs.

Since its creation in 2002, the private sector has played an integral role in the operations and governance of the Global Fund. Private businesses and foundations each have a seat and equal vote on the organization's 24-member Board. At the country level, businesses act as recipients of Global Fund finances and partner with local governments and organizations to extend successful disease fighting programs beyond their factories to impact surrounding communities.