U.S. Department of State Announces New Era in Global HIV/AIDS Response
By Chelsea Bailey | October 2, 2013
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the launch of a U.S. Country Health Partnership with Namibia, Rwanda, and South Africa. The partnerships will focus on shifting the international HIV/AIDS response from U.S.–lead interventions to programs focused on country-ownership.
“South Africa, Rwanda, and Namibia are all on the front lines of this effort. And in the face of one of the greatest moral challenges of our time, each of those countries have responded in extraordinary ways in order to care for its own people,” Kerry said to leaders at the event.
“You’re not just investing in your own health capacity, but you are helping to lead the charge to define a new model for U.S. assistance. And we thank you for that. It’s one that empowers and emphasizes co-investment, collaboration, and true partnership. And none of these things can work if it isn’t transformed into sustainability, if it doesn’t become, really, a country’s own initiative.”
Kerry spoke at a round-table meeting with senior African and global health leaders in New York City. He stressed the United States and its partner countries should share responsibility and accountability, while allowing the leaders of African nations to tailor their approaches to combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their own countries.
“Now, wherever possible, those programs are going to support countries’ own initiatives against this epidemic, and that’s what’s really exciting about it. That’s, frankly, exactly what our foreign assistance is supposed to do, is to help other countries to be able to take the reins and empower them to be able to confront challenges like HIV and AIDS themselves.”
It was also announced at the roundtable that the United States will host the replenishment meeting for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) this fall. This meeting will be critical to securing funding from governments and private donors for the Global Fund through 2016.
“Since its inception, the Global Fund has been a vital partner in supporting country-owned responses to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria,” Kerry said.
Secretary Kerry was joined at the event by President Pohamba of Nambia, President Kagame of Rwanda, and Ebrahim Rasool, South African Ambassador to the United States.
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Chelsea Bailey is Communications Assistant for EGPAF based in Washington, D.C.