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Morgan Freeman, Annie Lennox, Deepak Chopra, Jeremy Irons and other celebrities: “We must support the Global Fund to keep saving millions of lives from AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria”

14 September 2011

Stars unite in support of the Global Fund, which has saved 7.7 million lives

Geneva, Switzerland — Celebrities including Annie Lennox, Deepak Chopra and Morgan Freeman are championing international health organization the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and are appealing to the public to support its work.

The stars are backing the work of the Global Fund, which provides two-thirds of global funding for tuberculosis and malaria as well as treatment for over half of the world’s AIDS patients, and is saving over a million lives a year. They say that with continued support, the Global Fund and its partners will be able to save millions more lives.

In an open letter published today on the Global Fund’s website, the stars praise the world’s unprecedented progress in combating these deadly diseases, and they urge readers to co-sign the letter, which calls for continued U.S. leadership in the fight to make sure this critical, life-saving work can go on. The United States is by far the world’s largest investor in programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and provides just under a third of the Global Fund’s total funding.

U.S. leadership has traditionally spurred other countries to contribute substantially to the Global Fund. This leadership is needed now more than ever, when most countries are struggling with economic hardship.

Other names such as Minnie Driver, Djimon Hounsou, Alan Cumming, Jaime Murray, Adam Garcia and Jason Silva are also bringing their campaigning voices to the cause.

The letter comes at an important time for global health. After a decade of dramatic progress, a number of ambitious health targets are for the first time ever within reach, such as no deaths from malaria, control of tuberculosis and a massive reduction in the number of AIDS deaths worldwide.

“The global community needs continued leadership from the United States to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria across the world,” they say. “If we do not raise widespread support, the world-changing momentum we have already built will be lost, and we will miss this historic opportunity.”