21 March 2017
GENEVA – The Honorable Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, today welcomed a delegation from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria led by Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director. The meeting marked the official signing of the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Global Fund, a symbolic step in strengthening the partnership between the Global Fund and Senegal that has been in place for 15 years. Senegal is now the 15th country to sign the agreement; Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso, Rwanda as well as some ten European and African states have already done so.
Since it was established in 2001, the Global Fund has continually increased the level of investment in health programs, investments that have now saved over 20 million lives. With close to US$300 million invested, the Global Fund has helped Senegal make significant progress in terms of combating the three diseases and developing resilient and sustainable healthcare systems. As a result, more than 20,000 HIV patients have been treated, 37,700 patients have been tested and treated for tuberculosis, and some 16.2 million bed nets have been distributed.
"The fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is a shared responsibility,” said President Sall. “As implementation partners, it is incumbent on us to monitor and protect the resources allocated by the Global Fund to respond to the challenges posed by the three diseases in an effective, flexible and appropriate manner."
The Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Global Fund is an international instrument by which the signatories ensure that Global Fund resources earmarked for health are protected against seizure orders. It is also intended to protect the institution and its officials from the risk of legal proceedings that could endanger the Global Fund’s mission of accelerating the elimination of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Granting the Global Fund privileges and immunities is of significant benefit to the countries responsible for program implementation. Indeed, the tax exemptions result in resource savings that can be reinvested in other priority areas, thereby maximizing the impact of the funds allocated. Moreover, health products can be delivered to beneficiaries more quickly and efficiently.
“We congratulate President Macky Sall and his government for the leadership and determination to fight the three diseases and to use that as a foundation to expand to universal health coverage,” said Dr. Dybul. “His leadership in Senegal, has impact regionally and globally. His extraordinary commitment is essential to expand access to quality of treatment and care, especially to the most vulnerable.”
Senegal has distinguished itself as a model for West Africa by contributing up to US$1 million at the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment and increasing its national health budget, thereby confirming its ongoing determination to put health at the center of its social and economic development.