Celebrities including Annie Lennox, Deepak Chopra and Morgan Freeman are championing international health organization the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and are appealing to the public to support its work.
The stars are backing the work of the Global Fund, which provides two-thirds of global funding for tuberculosis and malaria as well as treatment for over half of the world’s AIDS patients, and is saving over a million lives a year. They say that with continued support, the Global Fund and its partners will be able to save millions more lives.
In an open letter published today on the Global Fund’s website, the stars praise the world’s unprecedented progress in combating these deadly diseases, and they urge readers to co-sign the letter, which calls for continued U.S. leadership in the fight to make sure this critical, life-saving work can go on. The United States is by far the world’s largest investor in programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and provides just under a third of the Global Fund’s total funding.
U.S. leadership has traditionally spurred other countries to contribute substantially to the Global Fund. This leadership is needed now more than ever, when most countries are struggling with economic hardship.
“We stand on the verge of a major turning point in human history,” reads the letter. "By 2015, together we can almost eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV as a public health problem, and dramatically cut the number of deaths worldwide due to tuberculosis and malaria. For far too long, these three diseases have killed millions of people around the world, especially in developing countries, every year.
“As a global community, we are now faced with a choice: If we help ensure that support for this life-saving work continues, future generations across the globe will be spared the tragedy of seeing a child born with HIV, watching a friend die from a mosquito bite or seeing a family member debilitated by tuberculosis.
“Today, thanks to a decade of global health leadership by the United States, millions have been saved from needless death from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Tomorrow, with continued leadership by the United States, we can work to ensure that the next generation is born HIV-free and that millions of others will be free from tuberculosis and malaria. These diseases are all preventable and treatable.”
The letter comes at an important time for global health. After a decade of dramatic progress, a number of ambitious health targets are for the first time ever within reach, such as no deaths from malaria, control of tuberculosis and a massive reduction in the number of AIDS deaths worldwide.
“The global community needs continued leadership from the United States to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria across the world,” they say. “If we do not raise widespread support, the world-changing momentum we have already built will be lost, and we will miss this historic opportunity.”
The celebrities are encouraging supporters to join their chorus of support here.