This struck our fancy as we’re always looking for ways to travel the world and contribute to a more equitable, culturally rich society. An initiative launching to the public on March 4, 2010, has the travel industry joining political figures and celebrities, including President Bill Clinton, to create MASSIVEGOOD, an innovative fundraising movement that will enable travelers to make a “micro-contribution” towards major global health causes every time they buy a plane ticket, reserve a hotel room or rent a car (I was wondering when they were going to start doing this!)
Created by the Millennium Foundation, MASSIVEGOOD will be available in travel agencies and on websites like Travelocity and Accor Hotels starting March 4th. This will allow travelers to contribute $2 to fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and to improving the state of maternal and child health in developing countries.
Funds will be distributed to UNITAID, an organization that has saved thousands of lives by lowering the price and increasing the availability of medicines in low-income countries. MASSIVEGOOD is also a smart demonstration of the travel industry’s determination to address global health problems in addition to the environmental programs many already have in place.
About The Millennium Foundation for Innovative Finance for Health (“Millennium Foundation”): They’re a Swiss non-profit created in 2008 whose mission is to create a sustainable source of needed additional funding to achieve the three health-related Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the United Nations in 2000: to treat and fight life-threatening diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; to reduce childhood mortality; and to improve maternal health. To achieve its mission, the Millennium Foundation aims to empower citizens to join a global movement of solidarity dedicated to reducing the glaring inequalities in access to health care between rich and poor. The initial focus is the creation of MASSIVEGOOD, makes it easy for all those who travel to make micro-contributions aimed at saving lives by fighting life-threatening diseases among the world’s most vulnerable populations. Sounds good to me.
UNITAID was launched 3 years ago as an innovative mechanism for scaling up access to treatment for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Founded by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the UK, today UNITAID has the support of 29 countries as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In less than three years UNITAID has committed more than 900 million dollars to the diagnosis and treatment of these three diseases, representing a total of over 11 million treatments provided to patients. UNITAID’s funding model is based on an air ticket solidarity levy. While some of its donors contribute through multi-year budgetary commitments, the air tax provides more than 70% of UNITAID’s funding.