Major corporations to invest in UN-backed fight against AIDS, TB, malaria

21 Jan 2008
UN News Centre
The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today announced the launch of the Corporate Champions programme, an innovative way for multinational companies to significantly invest in the fight against the three diseases.

Chevron Corporation, a major international energy company, is the programme's inaugural Corporate Champion, making a commitment to invest $30 million over three years in Global Fund-supported programmes in parts of Asia and Africa.

"Global companies with large, long-term investments in developing countries understand that fighting disease is a necessary part of their strategic investments," said Rajat Gupta, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fund, a partnership between Governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities.

"The Global Fund Corporate Champion programme provides the opportunity for these companies to make significant, effective, results-driven investments in national health programmes. We are extremely pleased with the commitment from Chevron. Its long-standing dedication to combating HIV/AIDS combined with its needs-based partnership approach to community engagement makes Chevron an ideal first Corporate Champion." Since its creation in 2002, the Fund has become the dominant multilateral financer of programmes to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, providing well over 20 per cent of all international finance against AIDS and two-thirds of global financing for TB and malaria.

So far, programmes that it has supported have averted 2 million deaths by providing AIDS treatment for 1.4 million people and TB treatment for 3.3 million, and by distributing 46 million insecticide-treated bed nets that help prevent the spread of malaria.

Each Corporate Champion will make a financial contribution to Fund-supported programs in countries where it operates, thereby significantly expanding upon its own workplace and community projects and investing in high-quality, rigorously monitored and results-focused health programmes aligned with national needs and strategies.

In addition, Corporate Champions will leverage their people and assets to improve the effectiveness and reach of health programmes by lending their management skills and business infrastructure to the development and implementation of national strategies in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.

The Champions also are required to demonstrate a long-term commitment to fighting these global health issues. Chevron was selected as the inaugural partner as a result of its highly-successful community engagement programmes tackling AIDS and malaria and its award-winning HIV/AIDS workplace programmes.

"AIDS, TB and malaria are critical health threats in many of the communities where we operate around the world," Chevron chairman and chief executive officer Dave O'Reilly said. "The key to the success of the Global Fund has been the strength of its partnership and collaboration model, which is an approach that Chevron shares. For a company such as ours, it makes clear business sense to join with the Global Fund and leverage resources in the fight against these diseases."