Photo: The Global Fund

Whoever saves a life saves the whole world – the Talmud

Seventeen million: the number of people in the Netherlands, about two-thirds of Australia’s population. That’s how many lives have been saved by Global Fund-supported programmes since it made its first grants in 2002.

At that time, the worldwide epidemics of HIV, TB and malaria seemed unstoppable. But the Global Fund’s investments have since slowed the advance of these diseases, supporting greater availability of life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV, TB treatments and distribution of insecticide-treated nets against malaria.

The Global Fund aims to save a further 10 million lives between 2012 and 2016, and is currently on track to do so. In the same timeframe, it aims to avert 140-180 million new HIV, TB and malaria infections; if the recent trends are sustained, this target will also be met.

By the end of 2016 the Global Fund partnership will have supported countries to save a total of 22 million lives. What could be more important?