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Friends of the Global Fund Europe launched

19 April 2005

Chaired by Michele Barzach
Under the high patronage of Jacques Chirac
President of the French Republic

In the presence of:

  • Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Solidarity, Health and the Family
  • Xavier Darcos, Minister Delegate for Cooperation, Development and Francophony
  • Michèle Barzach, Chair of “Friends of The Global Fund Europe ”
  • Professor Richard Feachem, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Lilia Garcia-Leyva, Executive Director of the M.A.C AIDS Fund

Innovative and Committed Support from Europe for The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Paris, France – “Friends of the Global Fund Europe” is being launched today in Paris to mobilize European institutions, public opinion and private companies in support of The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which was created in 2002 by the United Nations and the G8. “Friends of the Global Fund Europe” brings together European states and institutional representatives, civil society and private sector partners willing to contribute to the fight against the deadly epidemics.

These diseases kill more than six million people each year – 16,400 every day. The global community has been urged to respond, as the impacts of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria go beyond public health crises in individual countries.

These epidemics have a significant social and economic impact, undermining the basic foundations of society. The workforces and productivity of affected countries are diminishing, and economic development has been slowed and even reversed. The political infrastructure of countries with the heaviest disease burdens have been weakened, which contributes to growing global instability.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created to address the health and social crises caused by the three diseases. It is an innovative financial mechanism, funded by both public and private donors, which provides grants to countries to fund prevention and treatment programs. In only three years, The Global Fund has committed US$ 3.3 billion to more than 300 programs in 127 countries.

Ninety-seven percent of the funds are going to countries with low or very low income. Sixty percent of Global Fund grants have been approved for programs in sub-Saharan Africa, while developing countries in Asia, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe account for the remaining allocation of grants.

Since 2001, US$ 5.4 billion has been pledged to The Global Fund over eight years, showing significant support for the work of the organization. However, much more needs to be raised. In 2007, with an estimated US$ 15 billion needed globally to prevent and combat AIDS, The Global Fund’s estimated resource need will climb to US$ 3.5 - 4 billion for that year alone.

Today, “Friends of the Global Fund Europe” joins forces with “Friends of the Global Fight - U.S.” and “Friends of The Global Fund - Japan” to advocate for greater support for The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“Mobilizing support around the world for the role of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is of paramount importance,” said Richard Feachem, Executive Director of The Global Fund. “Urgent action is needed to turn back the tide of these three diseases, and we warmly welcome the arrival of Friends of The Global Fund Europe as a vital new resource of commitment and energy.”

Beyond the long-term mobilization of non-governmental organizations and citizens, the contributions of states, institutions and private companies are crucial. “Friends of the Global Fund Europe” has defined three main objectives:

  • To raise awareness among civil society and state actors regarding the needs and activities of The Global Fund;
  • To mobilize private and public actors and to encourage the development of public-private partnerships;
  • To develop new means of international financing.

Michèle Barzach, Chair of “Friends of the Global Fund Europe” has adopted the mobilization of the private sector as a key mission of the organization, in view of the fact that private companies are increasingly recognizing the negative impact of the three diseases on their operations.

“The participation of NGOs, whose activism should be acknowledged, and of states, whose considerable investments should be encouraged, is no longer sufficient in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Madame Barzach. “The business sector should also get involved. The consequences of these epidemics go beyond the dramatic situation of public health. The world’s workforces and tomorrow’s resources are directly concerned. ‘Friends of The Global Fund Europe’ will also concentrate their efforts on the reinforcement of partnerships between public and private actors in all European countries.”

M.A.C. Cosmetics, a vocal supporter of the fight against HIV/AIDS through its M.A.C. AIDS Fund, has also endorsed “Friends of the Global Fund Europe”.

“Business leaders have the unique ability to counter head-on the stigma and discrimination that has enabled the rampant spread of this virus over the past two decades. With their talent, employees, retail partners and customers can carry a simple message and change public perceptions about the epidemic and improve the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk of infection,” said Lilia Garcia-Leyva, Executive Director of M.A.C. AIDS Fund.

”Leading retailers worldwide – including Printemps de la Beauté, Sephora, Galeries Lafayette and Samaritaine in France – have pledged their support to the efforts of M.A.C. Cosmetics so that every last cent of the retail selling price of VIVA GLAM lipsticks goes directly to benefit people suffering from HIV/AIDS via the M.A.C. AIDS Fund.”

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