01 June 2010
Geneva – The Global Fund’s largest private sector contributor (PRODUCT)RED has passed a funding milestone of US$ 150 million to support Global Fund HIV and AIDS programs in Rwanda, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ghana, Zambia and South Africa. (PRODUCT)RED is today one of the largest consumer-based private sector initiatives to raise money for an international humanitarian cause.
Developed and launched in 2006 by rock musician Bono and Bobby Shriver, then chairman of DATA, (PRODUCT)RED brings together some of the world's leading companies as partners in a joint commitment to channel up to 50% of profits from (Red) products to the Global Fund to assist in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Partners include American Express, Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, FLOWE(RED), Hallmark, Dell, Nike, Penguin and Starbucks.
Through its partnership with (RED), the Global Fund is able to direct increased resources to individuals and communities affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa. One hundred percent of the money earned for the Global Fund through (RED) is invested in Global Fund-financed grants and no overhead is charged ensuring that all funds raised have the greatest impact possible.
“We chose to work for the Global Fund because it is the world’s largest and most effective financer of the fight against HIV and AIDS,’ said Susan Smith Ellis, CEO (RED). ‘The Global Fund’s country-led, performance-based model puts the countries themselves in charge of designing solutions appropriate for them and making them work locally. This is incredibly important to us,’ she added.
In Rwanda for example, (RED) money has already provided antiretroviral therapy (ART) to more than 27,000 people living with HIV and reached over 34,000 HIV positive pregnant women with preventative ART to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of the virus. Similarly in Lesotho, (RED) money has provided more than 45,000 people living with HIV with lifesaving ART and reached more than 16,000 HIV positive pregnant women with preventive ART to reduce mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
“(RED) money has impacted millions of people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa, saving lives and bringing hope to those living with the disease,” said Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “(RED) is a great example of what can be achieved through effective public-private partnerships – the concept has been an enormous success, engaging the private sector in raising awareness and a sustainable flow of funds to help reduce the devastating impact of the pandemic.”
Funds channeled by donors and partners through the Global Fund are making a dramatic difference to global health and have saved an estimated 4.9 million lives to date from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. However, progress is fragile and even a small reduction in funding at this stage can reverse gains made over the past years.