On September 19, we announced our commitment to deliver $1 billion of social impact over the next 10 years to accelerate our work toward breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Today, we are taking action on that promise, with a new $10 million pledge that continues Comic Relief US’ support of the Global Fund.
But that’s not all. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made a generous commitment to match our funds 2:1, and together we will deliver a $30 million investment to address one of the most significant causes of intergenerational poverty — the health and well-being of children, their caregivers, and families around the world.
And there’s even more good news. The U.S. government has agreed to match private sector pledges to the Global Fund, so now that $30 million has become $45 million.
These funds will go a long way towards supporting programs focused on improving children’s health. Ensuring people are healthy requires more than preventing and curing diseases; it also means ensuring individuals and communities thrive. Across the globe, inequitable access to quality health care, nutritious food, and safe, healthy spaces to live, work and play, has created disparities that have been highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comic Relief US’ pledge builds naturally upon our history of addressing child poverty and ensures our work focuses on the causes of poverty, not just its consequences. Our objective with this investment is to support initiatives that build healthier, more resilient societies — including equitable access to health services, advocacy and systems change, and solutions that help mitigate the health impacts of climate change — which will contribute to ending the cycle of poverty for millions.
Over the next three years, our health programming aims to deepen our focus and contribute to the following medium-term impacts:
- To improve health outcomes, we will expand access to quality, community-based, primary health services, including disease prevention, and mental health resources.
- To ensure that excluded or underrepresented children, their families, and caregivers can realize their right to food and nutrition, we will continue to prevent and treat malnutrition and support long-term solutions to food insecurity, and improve access to nutrition assistance and services, and sustainably-produced healthy food. We will particularly focus on the 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday, the most critical time for positive impact on cognitive and physical development, known as the 1,000 Day Window of Opportunity.
- To strengthen the health of communities, we will support initiatives that improve the places in which people live, work and play to facilitate good physical and mental health.
Since 2015, Comic Relief US has invested over $38 million with The Global Fund, the worldwide movement to defeat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and ensure a healthier, safer, more equitable future for all. Over the past 20 years, The Global Fund has invested more than $53 billion into these communities, saving 44 million lives and reducing the combined death rate from HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria by more than half in the countries in which they invest.
Our new pledge, once again amplified with generous match funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will help reduce inequalities by expanding health services to populations across the world who often bear the burden of these deadly — but treatable — infectious diseases.
The work supported through our partnership has already:
- Trained and sustained community health workers
- Tested and treated malaria cases in children and pregnant mothers
- Distributed long-lasting insecticidal nets to families most in need
Our investments in advancing health equity around the world, like every aspect of our work, fund programs that promote resilience, racial and gender equity, and place decision-making power within communities. We believe this approach will help drive the sustainable change that will bring us closer to breaking this cycle.
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