UNAIDS and NEPAD Agency sign agreement to advance Africa’s AIDS response and broader development agenda
ADDIS ABABA, 27 March 2012—The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) calling for strategic collaboration to advance sustainable responses to HIV, health and development across the African continent. The MoU was signed by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, on the sidelines of a colloquium marking the 10th anniversary of NEPAD in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Under the terms of the agreement, UNAIDS and the NEPAD Agency will work with partners to: support the development of common African positions for the AIDS response, with an emphasis on sustainable financing; address constraints in access to HIV medicines; facilitate policies and partnerships to eliminate new HIV infections in children and improve the health of mothers; enhance country ownership and accountability; and encourage South-South cooperation.
“This new partnership will bring us one step closer to our goal of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths,” said the UNAIDS Executive Director, at a press conference on 27 March after the signing of the MoU. Mr Sidibé said that “getting to zero” would demand effective and inclusive partnerships, shared responsibility, greater transparency and a focus on results—areas in which NEPAD is known to excel.
Speaking alongside Mr Sidibé at the press conference, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki said that country ownership would be critical to advancing AIDS and development responses in the coming decade. “Partnerships for development can only succeed if they are led by developing countries,” said the Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD Agency. “AIDS programmes must be financially sustainable over the long term and tailored to specific national settings,” he added.
Sub-Saharan Africa carries the highest HIV burden of any region in the world. In 2010, about 68% of all people living with HIV resided in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with only 12% of the global population.
About two-thirds of all AIDS investments in Africa currently come from external sources. According to UNAIDS estimates, Africa will require between US$ 11-12 billion for its regional AIDS response by 2015—US$ 3-4 billion more than the current expenditure.