By Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Three devastating diseases that are destroying the lives of millions of people, impeding the economic progress of entire communities and threatening social cohesion. These epidemics are a scourge, and we must take action to end them. #EndItForGood
On September 16-17, in Montreal, Canada will host the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Conference, which will be attended by health leaders from around the world, has set a goal of raising $13 billion.
Since its launch in 2002, the Global Fund has worked in partnership with the public, private and philanthropic sectors and numerous countries. Notable among its partners are the Gates Foundation, Product RED, as well as Canada, France and the United States.
In the most affected countries, girls account for more than 80 per cent of all new HIV infection cases among adolescents.
The Fund has made it possible to save 20 million lives, to treat 24 million AIDS and tuberculosis patients and to prevent malaria, thanks to the distribution of 650 million bed nets. Behind these numbers are human beings: most are women and girls, who represent more than half of the world population living with HIV.
Last December, I visited an HIV clinic in Hanoi, Vietnam. This is a clinic that receives Canadian funding through the Global Fund. I met a young woman there who was HIV-positive. She told me that the care she had received had restored her to good health and that her child was born HIV-negative.
In the most affected countries, girls account for more than 80 per cent of all new HIV infection cases among adolescents. This is an alarming statistic. Entire generations of young women are seeing their lives shattered before they even begin because, through lack of education and, primarily, the violence they suffer, their rights are not respected.
I am very proud to welcome the Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Canada because the Global Fund is an example of innovation in international development funding. It has secured funding from traditional donor countries as well as contributions and a major social commitment from large foundations and private companies. It has also pushed local governments to contribute more to their health care systems and manage them more sustainably.
As we recently announced, Canada will raise its contribution to the Global Fund by 20 per cent, or $785 million over three years. Canada has also committed to contributing $85 million to the Stop TB Partnership and an additional $19 million to the Global Fund to help simplify and reduce the cost of purchasing health supplies in developing countries. Canadians can be proud of the leadership role their country is playing in the area of global health. Our commitment is fostering increased cooperation in the international community around the most pressing global issues.
Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie was elected as the Member of Parliament for Compton-Stanstead in October 2015, and was appointed Minister of International Development and La Francophonie by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Before entering politics, Minister Bibeau began her career at the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She went on postings to Morocco and Benin.
Minister Bibeau is calling for actions and programs geared to the education and empowerment of women and girls, whose rights she defends unfailingly. She places them among the top of her political action priorities. The Minister currently has a seat in the High-Level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child, a UN Secretary-General initiative.
Helping Canada exercise its leadership on global health issues, Minister Bibeau played a key role in ensuring that Canada will host the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Montréal, Quebec, on September 16-17, 2016.
This blog is part of the blog series: AIDS, TB and Malaria: It's High Time for Us to End It. For Good by the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) in recognition of The Global Fund's Fifth Replenishment. The blog series runs from August 29 to October 3, 2016 and features a selection of blogs written by our member and partner organizations. Contributors share their broad range of perspectives and insight on the work of The Global Fund and the opportunity that this moment presents us one year following the inauguration of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog series are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ICAD.
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