The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), with the support of the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), has launched Friends of The Global Fund Qatar at the Doha Forum, which concluded on Sunday.
Organisations that are part of the Friends of The Global Fund commit to developing contacts and allies, promoting a good understanding of The Global Fund’s mission to eradicate tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/Aids, and mobilising public support.
Founded in 2002, The Global Fund is an international partnership that was created to accelerate the end of HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
It mobilises and invests more than $4bn annually, donated by governments and public and private organisations, to support programmes run by local experts in more than 100 countries.
Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to join the Friends of The Global Fund cohort and will support efforts to promote The Global Fund’s causes in the region, with Friends of The Global Fund Qatar being based and managed within WISH, an initiative of Qatar Foundation.
WISH chief executive Sultana Afdhal and Lady Rosalyn Morauta, vice-chair of the Board of the Global Fund and former first lady of Papua New Guinea, signed a pledge that recognised a shared commitment to help build a healthier world and the fact that health should be a fundamental human right.
The pledge was signed in the presence of Mark Suzman, chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and QFFD director-general HE Khalifa Jassim al-Kuwari, who are The Global Fund’s funding partner in Qatar.
Through the launch, Qatar has now joined the four active regional Friends organisations; Europe, the US, Japan, Australia.
The launch and pledge comes as health leaders voice increasing concern that the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the financial pressure it has placed upon healthcare systems, threatening to undo much of the good work that has taken place over the past 20 years to combat the three diseases that The Global Fund targets.
Afdhal said: “We now stand at a crossroads, where progress towards eradicating these three devastating diseases, and achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations, by 2030, is in real danger of going into reverse.”
“That is why we are immensely proud to have facilitated this vital partnership so that Friends of the Global Fund Qatar can play its part in not only halting that decline, but to further enhance our collective commitment to global health and the SDGs,” she added.
Lady Rosalyn said: “Friends of the Global Fund organisations exist across the world, but Friends of the Global Fund Qatar is the first of its kind in the Middle East. The Global Fund is built on partnerships, and value the support of Qatar through Qatar Fund for Development.”
“Through Friends of the Global Fund Qatar, we really look forward having Qatar Foundation, and WISH in particular, actively join the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria,” she added.
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