Portfolio
The END Fund

The END Fund’s purpose is to control and eliminate the five most prevalent neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

The END Fund
END Fund: part of the Legatum Portfolio
Portfolio
The END Fund

The END Fund’s purpose is to control and eliminate the five most prevalent neglected tropical diseases by 2030.

The END Fund
END Fund: part of the Legatum Portfolio
Overview

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that affect the lives of more than 1.7 billion people globally. They cause problems such as pain, disfigurement, malnutrition, cognitive impairment, stunted growth and blindness.

Building upon the remarkable success of Legatum’s pioneering work in Rwanda and Burundi, the END Fund was founded by the Legatum Foundation in 2012 with the intention of connecting a network of collaborative donors who could come together to bring an end to these diseases.

The organisation has since built up a large network of co-investors and today operates independently under the leadership of Ellen Agler, CEO of the END Fund. Legatum continues to be a close partner, supporting the organisation’s ongoing work, and Alan McCormick, Partner at Legatum, is a member of the board.

Background

Legatum first began working in the area of neglected tropical diseases in 2006 when we devised a programme, initially in Burundi and later in Rwanda, that treated 9.7 million people over a period of four years.

Having tested, measured and adapted the programme throughout that period, the picture we saw emerging was that, with the right approach, it was possible to significantly reduce or even eliminate these diseases altogether.

In looking to increase our impact, we felt the most effective way would be to build a model based on collaboration and a coordination of efforts between a number of different partners.

To lead this task, Ellen Agler, previously Senior Vice President of International Programmes at Operation Smile, was brought in as CEO and the END Fund was born.

Approach

Structured as an independent philanthropic investment vehicle, the END Fund is designed to pool and mobilise resources from a broad range of investors and direct them to where they will have the most impact, accelerating a movement to bring an end to these ancient diseases. Investors who support the programme include Alwaleed Philanthropies, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Campbell Family Foundation, Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Delta Philanthropies, Dubai Cares, ELMA Philanthropies, Good Ventures, Leona M. and Harry. B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Virgin Unite, and the Wyss Medical Foundation. The END Fund has been selected annually as a Givewell Top Charity from 2016-2020.

The END Fund acts as both an innovator and a connector: co-creating programmes with local organisations in order to provide a long-term, sustainable approach to the treatment of these diseases, and collaborating with government, NGOs, pharmaceutical and academic partners to maximise the impact.

The END Fund's approach involves identifying areas where there is an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives, and then working together with the best partners to achieve its goals.

One such example is the "Reaching the Last Mile Fund," a global partnership between philanthropists, governments and NGOs which aims to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in seven countries across the Sahel and in Yemen. Another is the Deworming Innovation Fund, an ambitious partnership selected as a 2019 TED Audacious Project to eliminate intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

The organisation supports programmes in almost 30 countries, across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Legatum END Fund C03

A man holds out his hand to show the tablets that cure his community of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Burundi 2010

Analysis

We entered the sector at a time when the term ‘neglected tropical diseases’ had just been coined, so-named for good reason – the hundreds of millions of people with these diseases had largely been forgotten by wealthier nations, despite the existence of cheap, effective treatments. The “simple, big idea” was to treat an entire population using a mass drug administration (MDA), an idea which we sought to test and prove. And of course, funding for treatment programmes, especially for an unproven approach at a national scale, was scarce.

Today, the END Fund is operating in almost thirty of the world’s poorest countries. It has delivered more than US$1 billion worth of drugs and global engagement with these diseases has been significantly improved.

Our work in this area has given us further confidence that it is possible to have a transformational impact when the right leadership is supported by collaborative funding in order to serve community-based organisations operating on the front lines of human need.

END Fund Ellen Agler
Ellen Agler
Chief Executive Officer of the END Fund
Fortune Magazine listed CEO of the END Fund, Ellen Agler, as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders in 2019
Stat Icon HEALTH
922m
treatments administered since 2012
Legatum's Journey

Legatum’s journey into NTDs began in 2006 when co-founder Alan McCormick read a newspaper article explaining how, with modest funding and a bit of imagination, it was possible to effectively treat neglected tropical diseases.

Legatum END Fund C03
United voices: The story of the END Fund
The story of a mission, and the people, foundations, companies and governments who came together to put an end to Neglected Tropical Diseases
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Legatum's Approach: Our Process
Approach
Process
In developing our ideas, we begin with a blank canvas and as few preconceived notions as possible for how to respond to an opportunity we see
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Legatum The END Fund The Catalysing Power Of Private Philanthropy
The catalysing power of private philanthropy (Mali)
Following a military coup in Mali in 2012, Legatum and the END Fund stepped in to provide the support required to continue the fight against NTDs
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922m
Treatments administered
2m
Health workers trained
30,819
Surgeries performed since 2012
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