The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced Monday that its largest private sector contributor (RED) passed a record milestone of $200 million raised and donated to fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
(RED) is the largest business initiative supporting the Global Fund and one of the biggest to raise money for an international humanitarian cause.
“This is fantastic, and it shows what partners can do when they come together for a good cause,” said Gabriel Jaramillo, general manager of the Global Fund. “We give (RED) an enormous ‘Thank you!'”
(RED) was founded in 2006 by U2 frontman Bono and Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. The money raised is donated to the Global Fund, which channels it to countries in need through grants. Since 2006, (RED) has contributed $200,179,357. Of the total, $17,087,169 has been donated this year.
The value of the partnership with (RED), however, goes beyond money. The initiative also contributes to raise awareness among consumers, officials said.
(RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Apple, which create (PRODUCT)RED items. A portion of the sales of those products is donated to the Global Fund — and supports the goal of delivering an AIDS-free generation by 2015.
Funds donated by (RED) have helped provide life-saving antiretroviral therapy for 220,000 people, put more than 130,000 HIV-positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother-to-child, and reach 13 million people with HIV testing and counseling, officials said.
“Surreal,” Shriver said of reaching the milestone. “I spent probably 12 years in the record business to get to $100 million for the Special Olympics. To get to $200 million in just over six years is pretty amazing.”
Shriver credits the success to having “cool” companies as partners, producing products that people want.