The Global Fund Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With Star-Studded Short Film (Video) (Slideshow)

Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 26/01/2012 09:37 Updated: 26/01/2012 09:39

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria has celebrated its 10 year anniversary.

The Fund was set up as an international financing organisation aimed at tackling three virulent pandemic illnesses "that truly threatened catastrophe".

Since its foundation the Fund claims that millions of lives have been saved through the distribution of drugs and medical supplies.

As of December 2011 the Fund boasted $22.6bn of funding, for more than 1,000 programs in 150 countries.

U2 lead singer Bono, who is also the co-founder of DATA/ONE and Product (RED), said:

“Ten years in, 3.3 million people on antiretroviral drugs, 1.3 million pregnant women who have interventions that will stop them passing the virus onto their babies, 230 million bed nets distributed, 8.6 million cases of Tuberculosis diagnosed and treated, 5.6 million orphans in care, 7.7 million people are alive because of the Global Fund.

"It’s a breath-taking achievement.”

To mark the anniversary the Fund has commissioned as series of portraits featuring its high-profile supporters, including Bono, former-prime minister Tony Blair, former-president Bill Clinton, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The organisation has used the World Economic Forum to unveil a short film by award-winning photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn to tell the story of how the organisation grew from small beginnings to become one of the world's major funders for Aids, Malaria and TB prevention and treatment.

Michel Kazatchkine, who is the executive director of the Global Fund, said:

“The story about the Global Fund is a story about how the world could actually come together and turn a hopeless situation into one of promise.

"This amazing film tells that story through the words of some of the people who were crucial in making this dramatic turnaround. It is fantastic to be reminded of how terrible the future looked for global health ten years ago, and how far we have come.”

Global Fund supporter Bill Gates said that the initiative was "risky" but that it had made a real difference to millions of people.

“The world had no group that could figures out how to stop the AIDS Emergency, Malaria was being ignored," he said. "The idea of a new group seemed risky and yet it felt like the only way we could get all the resources together, be smart about how to spend those resources and really reach out to help people, particularly in Africa, who are suffering from these terrible diseases."

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