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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Lifesaving Work

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces $750 Million Contribution to the Global Fund, Affirming Support for the World's Largest Global Health Financier

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates announced a $750 million contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The funds are committed in a promissory note, a new and innovative funding mechanism that will provide the Global Fund with the flexibility to distribute funds based on immediate program needs. The contribution will help finance Global Fund-supported programs in 150 countries, and comes just two days before the Global Fund's 10th anniversary on January 28.

"This investment in the Global Fund will help ensure that pregnant women with HIV will be able to prevent transmission to their babies, more families will sleep protected under malaria nets, and more people will have access to tuberculosis testing and treatment," said Natasha Bilimoria, President of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. "The Gates Foundation's unfailing support has been critical to the Global Fund's remarkably successful decade of saving and improving lives, and this continued commitment comes at a critical time. Medical advances are in place and political will is once again gaining speed, as evidenced last month by the Obama Administration's public support for the Global Fund's efforts. Continued strong support from both government and private-sector donors will prime the Global Fund to make even greater strides against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the years ahead."

The Global Fund was conceived in 2002 at the World Economic Forum as a highly effective emergency response to the three diseases. Since its founding, the Global Fund has helped save the lives of millions of people around the world. Global Fund financing provides AIDS treatment to 3.3 million people, and to date, it has supported treatment for more than 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis and distributed 230 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria.

"In just 10 years, the Global Fund has become the world's most powerful and effective global health financier," said Jonathan Klein, Chair of Friends' Board of Directors and Co-founder and CEO of Getty Images. "Thanks to supporters like Bill and Melinda Gates and the U.S. government, the Global Fund will continue to promote stronger, healthier communities and a safer, more stable world by shoring up infrastructures in fragile states and allowing people the chance to be productive. The Global Fund deserves high praise and continued strong support in its work to bring countries, the private sector and civil society together in partnership to fight these three deadly diseases.

"As it continues to streamline its operations and refine its standard-setting model, the Global Fund looks ahead to producing the sustained results necessary to achieve ambitious, but obtainable, goals in the next few years: an AIDS-free generation and the elimination of malaria in endemic countries.

"The Gates Foundation's new contribution reminds us that now is not the time to dial back our efforts to support global health," said Ms. Bilimoria. "Every day, more women, children and families wake up healthy thanks to so many who have pulled together in the past 10 years. We've reached the point where we can see the end of AIDS and the end of deaths from malaria, along with historic progress in combating tuberculosis. Even in a difficult economic environment, we must push forward toward these critical goals."

FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA Friends of the Global Fight works to end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We educate, engage and mobilize U.S. decision-makers to support the Global Fund, the world's largest public health financier. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.TheGlobalFight.org.

Video courtesy of The Global Fund:

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