African Heads of State Rally Support for Global Fund
27 May 2013
ADDIS ABABA – Leaders of several nations at a summit meeting of the African Union called on partners and supporters to mobilize fundraising efforts this year on behalf of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Chairperson of the African Union, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, asked more than 30 heads of state to appeal to everyone to support the Global Fund’s goal of raising US$ 15 billion in its once-every-three-years replenishment effort.
“All of us should make the replenishment of the Global Fund a priority,” Prime Minister Hailemariam said at a meeting of AIDS Watch Africa, a high-level advocacy platform of the African Union. The meeting was held during the summit celebrating the African Union’s 50th anniversary.
A declaration issued today by the African Union, and signed by heads of state, cited a united determination to defeat HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
At the AIDS Watch Africa session, President Joyce Banda of Malawi cited the remarkable strides her country has made in the fight against AIDS as an example of what can be achieved with support from the Global Fund, including putting many people living with HIV on treatment and significantly advancing prevention of mother-to-child-transmission.
President Banda called on African presidents and heads of state and government to “support the Global Fund to achieve its US$ 15 billion goal.”
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, encouraged African leaders to take the replenishment message everywhere by talking about the great achievements African countries have made with the support of the Global Fund.
“HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are in retreat,” Dr. Dybul told the African leaders. “You have it in your power to achieve what no leaders in history have had a chance to: end AIDS, TB and malaria.”
Dr. Dybul told the leaders that the Global Fund is their partner and servant, and will be a reliable friend as African nations seek to achieve the milestone of controlling the three diseases and removing them as a threat to public health.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated African leaders for the progress made in fighting diseases and urged them to continue to invest in the worthy undertaking.
“I am sure your partners, such as the Global Fund and the UN, will support you,” Secretary-General Ban said.
The meeting was also addressed by African Union Commission Chairperson Dlamini Zuma, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique.
United States Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe also addressed the meeting.
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