Since July 2012, the Here I Am Campaign has been receiving stories from communities around the world, whose lives have been greatly impacted by the Global fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We initially set a goal to get 80 videos from around the world; we were overwhelmed by the responses.
In total, 162 people from 50 countries shared videos of themselves shot at one of our booths or in their homes to tell their story. From a teenage girl born HIV+ with a fierce determination to live life fully to a young father diagnosed with drug-resistant TB who is worried about infecting his child to community workers highlighting the impact of malaria, our videos from all over the world have a common theme: without the Global Fund there wouldn't be the hope, treatment, care and support for millions affected by the three diseases.
Feature Video: A thank you from the voices of the Here I Am Campaign
Click here to watch our feature "Thank you" video from the Here I Am Campaign.
Today, global leaders met in Washington, DC at the Global Funds 4th Replenishment conference. A historic 12 billion dollars was raised by all the donors present, with hope for more pledges to be announced later next year by some countries. The replenishment comes at a time when the Global Fund is anticipating roll out of its new funding model. Come 2014, it's exciting to know that the funds raised today will be disbursed to priority countries where the burden of Tuberculosis, HIV and Malaria is highest. The Global Funds' strategic investment provides the greatest opportunity to end the threes diseases.
In 2010, 9.2 billion dollars was raised to provide HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programming through the Global Fund. This was far less than what had been anticipated and frankly, far less than what was needed. Despite that - as the numbers in the box show - significant progress was made. Last week, the Global Fund released a new results report: and the results are outstanding.
New Results showing increased impact and momentum
The Global Fund -continues to work in partnership with national governments, communities living with and affected by the three diseases, non-governmental organizations, other development organizations and donor governments - and thus can now report new results released last week:
• 6 million HIV+ people currently on anti-retroviral therapy - 1.8 million more than one year ago.
• 1.5 million people on treatment for TB this year for a Global Fund total of 11.2 million people, and
• 50 million insecticide treated nets over the heads of children and families for a total of 360 million nets distributed by the Global Fund
Today we made a good start towards raising the $15 billion needed to fully fund the Global Fund. Early pledges from the Nordic countries and the Republic of Korea set the stage and "challenge" pledges like that of the UK which announced in September that it would match up to 1 billion pounds (or about 1.65 billion USD) if other donors stepped up to meet the $15 billion ask really set the pace for this replenishment. This week, the US, Canada and the EU all announced increases in their contributions. Mexico and Kenya became first-time donors to the Fund and Nigeria increased its contributions to the Fund in addition to its commitment to dedicate 1 billion USD in its upcoming budget to address the three diseases: all excellent indications of the truly global partnership that is the Global Fund.
It was however disappointing to see that a number of countries flat-lined their contributions and some countries who have been donors in the past still have yet to pledge.
Ranked 6th overall on the Aid Transparency Index this year - ahead of most of its donors with the exception of the UK DFID - the Global Fund is a performance-based organization that addresses corruption head-on and has had great success in recovering the almost negligible amounts of funds that have been deemed by the independent office of the Inspector General to be ineligible or fraudulent in its investigations.
This is the kind of transparent, accountable aid organization that has impact and gets results that donors - governmental and from the private sector - should have confidence in.
On behalf of all those who have shared their stories and raised their voices in support of the Global Fund, you remain our unsung heroes and for those who have contributed to supporting the Global Funds work in the coming 3 years, I sincerely thank you all.
To those donors who have contributed - this historic 12 billion is a good start -but it is only a start if we expect to scale-up the response significantly and begin to end these diseases.
To those donors who could not yet see their way to make or increase their contributions, I urge you to take the opportunity to look at the latest results which show tremendous impact and momentum and to examine the actual record of transparency and accountability of the Global Fund and to look at ways to increase your contributions in the coming years.
Today was only the beginning: with what was brought to the table, we have already achieved the largest financial pledges ever made in the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria. Let's not lose momentum now, let's leave Washington DC this week and recommit to finding the collective political will to fully fund the Global Fund and see just how much further we can be in three years if we invest now.
Lucy Chesire: TB-HIV advocate from Kenya and Board Member of the Global Fund Board Communities Delegation.
About the Here I Am Campaign:The Here I Am Campaign is a global call on world leaders to save millions of lives by supporting a fully funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Here I Am brings the voices of people that are directly affected by AIDS, TB and malaria into dialogue about decisions that affect their lives and the lives of millions of others in their countries. Through video testimonies from all over the world, campaign ambassador advocacy, online actions and on-the-ground mobilizations, the Here I Am campaign is building collective power to end three of the world's most deadly diseases. www.hereiamcampaign.org
Follow Lucy Chesire on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HereIAmCampaign