Africa Day Sentiments

Over at Huffington Post the Egyptian and Chadian ambassadors to the United States team up in an op-ed. They use the occasion of Africa Day to stress the importance of the health related Millennium Development Goals.  Meanwhile, in a statement posted to the UN Foundation website, Foundation chief Sentator Tim Wirth has echoes the ambassadors’ call to action.

“This year’s Africa Day Commemoration in Washington, D.C. featured a proclamation worthy of world attention. African leaders resident in the U.S. Capitol re-committed to mobilize all of their human, material, and financial resources to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to replenish The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. I applaud this important commitment as proof that our friends in Africa are making precious resources available to protect the health and future of the continent. As we move into a pivotal period to replenish The Global Fund, such strong leadership and dedicated resources from African nations are more important than ever.

Less than a decade ago, Africa’s heads of state signed the Abuja Declaration and committed to the creation of The Global Fund. Over the past decade we have seen how much can be achieved when Africa’s leaders work together with the United Nations and the Global Fund. It is a model of a successful public/private partnership and the largest multilateral financing institution in the fight against major diseases on the continent. A powerful example is the commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS. AIDS-related deaths have decreased by nearly 20 percent due in large part to the increased availability of treatment.

Africa’s leaders have proven that, with dedicated resources and strong leadership, they will succeed. If we can continue scaling up successful programs and interventions, by 2015 we can dramatically reduce deaths from AIDS, eliminate malaria, and achieve significant declines in TB mortality. It is more important than ever to fully fund the Global Fund to support Africa’s health and further strengthen their leadership and homegrown solutions in achieving the MDGs. Investing in The Global Fund is an investment towards improving the lives of millions, strengthening Africa now and in the future, and ensuring global stability and progress.