25 May 2009
Damascus - The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) jointly to support activities of OIC member countries aimed at scaling up their efforts to fight the three diseases which claim millions of lives throughout the world every year..
Under the the MoU, both parties have pledged to work together on matters of common interest in the fight against the three diseases. The agreement complements a cooperation framework agreement signed between the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Global Fund last March 3, 2009. The IDB is the multilateral development finance arm of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The document was signed by OIC Secretary General, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund, who were attending the Thirty-Six Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Damascus, Syria.
“Today I join the OIC Secretary General in signing an agreement under which both the OIC and the Global Fund will work together to scale up the fight against the three diseases and help member states progress towards the Millennium Development Goals” said Kazatchkine. “I believe that now is the time for the Islamic world to really rise to the challenge of global health. Now you have a unique opportunity to show that global epidemics can be beaten by a truly global effort in which every country plays its part.”
The OIC and the Global Fund will work together in partnership to encourage member states to work together in the fight against the three diseases and by raising awareness of the work and the vision of the Global Fund. The OIC will also encourage those of its member states who are eligible for Global Fund grants to seek funding by presenting quality proposals to the Global Fund. Richer OIC countries are encouraged to play a prominent role in supporting this endeavour.
The OIC is an intergovernmental organization based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which brings together 57 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean regions. Its mission is to represent Muslim people and to strengthen cooperation among OIC Member States in the political, economic, cultural and social fields.
The OIC works to promote solidarity among its member states and to step up cooperation with the relevant international institutions to combat diseases and epidemics. The OIC is already working with the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership to support the attainment of six of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
To date, the Global Fund has approved funding to fight the three diseases in 46 of the OIOC’s 57 member states. Of these beneficiary countries, 16 are in the Middle East/North Africa, 16 in Africa, 7 in Asia, five in Central Asia and Central Europe and two in the Caribbean. There has been a steady and significant increase in approved Global Fund grants to OIC member states in its first eight funding rounds amounting to over US$ 5 billion; 60 percent of which goes to the fight against malaria.