Feature story

UNAIDS and the Global Fund join forces to strengthen response to HIV in Francophone countries

22 October 2010

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, at the XIII Francophone summit in Montreux. 23 October, 2010. Credit: UNAIDS/Chironi

UNAIDS and the Global Fund Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and partners have joined together at the XIII Francophone summit in Montreux, Switzerland to explore ways of strengthening the response to HIV in francophone countries.

Sharing expertise and knowledge in the AIDS response among the 70 francophone countries around the world could significantly reduce new HIV infections and increase access to HIV services for people most in need expanded.

“Francophone leaders must continue to push the response forward, not only in their countries but also beyond and across the francophone network,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “By creating a pool of knowledge of what works best in the AIDS response, francophone nations can draw on these resources and apply them to the response in their own countries.”

Better collaboration between francophone countries would create a wide database of expertise and experience which can be shared between countries to develop a more effective and efficient response to the epidemic.

Francophone leaders must continue to push the response forward, not only in their countries but also beyond and across the francophone network

Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Exchanging information about the mobilisation of resources, efficient use of resources, and the development of innovative sources of financing will also help to ensure a sustained and continued response to the epidemic in times of global financial difficulty.

“The Francophone Summit is an important forum which unites Global Fund donor and recipient countries,” said Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “It is an essential bridge between the north and the south which reinforces partnerships, not only between states and civil society organisations, but also more and more with the private sector which is strengthening the response the response to AIDS, and to tuberculosis and malaria.”  

Francophone countries in Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean bear a significant burden of the global AIDS epidemic. In 2008 there were more than 4 million people living with HIV in francophone countries, and 340 000 new HIV infections, most of which were in Africa.

The discussions took place during a roundtable at the XIII Francophone Summit in Montreux, Switzerland where 3000 delegates including heads of state and high-level representatives from 70 francophone countries had gathered to foster relationships between francophone countries.

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