During January’s World Economic Forum, international leaders welcomed former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul as the new head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Assuming his post as Executive Director of the world’s largest health financier, Dr. Dybul is poised to build on the momentum of recent scientific advances and bolster the fight for a healthier future.
Right now is a key moment in this fight. The PEPFAR Blueprint charts the course toward an AIDS-free generation. Many countries like Nigeria and Kenya are boosting their own domestic health financing. Other international donors are stepping up support as well: just last week, Germany announced a commitment of 1 billion Euros to the Global Fund. At this critical juncture, I’m thrilled to see Dr. Dybul bringing his experience as a doctor, researcher and manager to bear at the Global Fund, which finances programs in 150 countries and supports health workers who save 100,000 lives every month.
In the early years of President George W. Bush’s Administration, Dr. Dybul served as one of PEPFAR’s principal architects, helping design the program that would go on to save millions of lives. When he assumed the top post of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator in 2006, Dr. Dybul helped guide PEPFAR’s implementation and build the global program that we know today.
It seems fitting that he now leads the Global Fund, as together these two programs have attacked AIDS on an unprecedented scale. PEPFAR and the Global Fund work hand-in-hand, collaborating with local partners to provide testing, prevention and treatment to millions of people. During President Barack Obama’s Administration, continuing support for PEPFAR and a landmark three-year, $4 billion pledge from the U.S. to the Global Fund further propelled recent success.
Building on a decade of health gains, last year the Global Fund undertook an institutional transformation, enhancing its capacity to deliver lifesaving resources. The organization is now completing what is likely the most rapid and dramatic overhaul of any multilateral body in history. And, as a result, it is prepared to deliver better grants more quickly to the people who need them most.
Dr. Dybul joins a streamlined institution, zeroed in on the principles that have always driven its work: solid grants management, nearly unparalleled transparency and accountability systems, and a commitment to the people it serves. The Global Fund is running full speed ahead into its next decade, capitalizing on both its proven success and its recent improvements.
Thanks to PEPFAR and the Global Fund, around the world today more children are living HIV-free and going to school. More adults are able to raise their families, go to work, and lead longer, more productive lives. The years ahead will demand that we keep the world’s attention and resources focused on ensuring even more healthy and bright futures.
With the Global Fund more efficient and effective than ever and PEPFAR making its Blueprint a reality, we can move ever closer to an AIDS-free generation and a healthier world for all of us.
Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, is a global health thought leader with nearly two decades of policy and international development experience.