Global Fund Overview

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The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.

Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.

The Global Fund is a financing institution, providing support to countries in the response to the three diseases; we do not implement programs on the ground. Global Fund staff, all based in Geneva, Switzerland, come from all professional backgrounds and from more than 100 different countries.

By challenging barriers and embracing innovative approaches, the Global Fund partnership strives for maximum impact. Working together, we have saved millions of lives and provided prevention, treatment and care services to hundreds of millions of people, helping to revitalize entire communities, strengthen local health systems and improve economies.

"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

A 21st-century partnership

Only through partnership and constant evolution can the Global Fund achieve the collective vision of a world free of the burden of HIV, TB and malaria. Partnership means continual growth, driven by mutual respect, shared responsibility and a strong commitment by all.

A 21st-century partnership takes a modern approach to global health: to be effective, it must be agile, responsive and committed to serving communities affected by HIV, TB and malaria. It must also reach beyond the mindset of paternalistic aid that sometimes created obstacles in the past. With a more modern outlook, countries take the lead in determining where and how best to fight diseases, how to respond to broader development challenges, and how to coordinate work with international partners in global health. They also plan on how to use their increased domestic finances to leverage external resources to build resilient and sustainable systems for health.

With implementing countries in the lead, partners can take a differentiated approach to investment. That means the partnership’s investments are informed by the specific needs and characteristics of each country, as well as the divergent needs of communities most affected by diseases. Working together, partnership can deliver healthier and more productive and stable families, communities and nations.



The only way to end AIDS, TB and malaria as epidemics is by working together: Governments, civil society, communities affected by the diseases, technical partners, the private sector, faith-based organizations, and other funders. All those involved in the response to the diseases should be involved in the decision-making process.

Country ownership

People implementing programs on the ground know best how to respond to HIV, TB and malaria in their local contexts. Country ownership means that people determine their own solutions to fighting these three diseases, and take full responsibility for them. Each country tailors its response to the political, cultural and epidemiological context.

Performance-based funding

Ongoing financing depends upon performance and proven results, carefully monitored and verified by Local Fund Agents.


The Global Fund operates with a high degree of transparency in all of its work, including applications for funding, funding decisions, grant performance, results, governance, and oversight. All audits and investigations by the Office of the Inspector General are openly published. The Global Fund also fully supports and participates in the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

Core structures


Our Board sets strategy, governs the institution and approves all funding decisions. It is also responsible for assessing organizational performance, overall risk management, partner engagement, resource mobilization and advocacy. The Board includes members from donor and implementer governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, private foundations and affected communities.

Country Coordinating Mechanism

Each implementing country establishes a national committee, or Country Coordinating Mechanism, to submit requests for funding on behalf of the entire country, and to oversee implementation once the request has become a signed grant. Country Coordinating Mechanisms include representatives of every sector involved in the response to the diseases.


The staff of the Global Fund are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Global Fund, primarily managing grants.

Technical Review Panel

An independent body of health, development and finance experts, the Technical Review Panel evaluates the technical merit of all requests for funding.

Local Fund Agent

Local Fund Agents are independent consultants who assess implementation and data. As the Global Fund does not have offices in country, Local Fund Agents serve as eyes and ears on the ground.

Principal Recipient

Principal Recipients are responsible for implementing grants, including coordination of other, smaller organizations, known as sub-recipients. Principal Recipients take on the financial as well as the programmatic responsibilities of the grant.

Office of the Inspector General

Oversight and assurance are also provided by the Office of the Inspector General, an independent body reporting directly to the Board that works to ensure that the Global Fund invests in the most effective way possible and to reduce the risk of misused funds.

History of the Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created in 2002 to raise, manage and invest the world’s money to respond to three of the deadliest infectious diseases the world has ever known. The mission of the Global Fund is to invest the world’s money to defeat these three diseases.

The idea for the Global Fund arose from a wellspring of grass-roots 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 help 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 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.

Published 17 November 2017