THE BLOG
01/24/2013 04:05 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

Here I Am: Calling On Economic Leaders to Fully Fund the Global Fund

Often known simply by the location it meets in, Davos is a meeting like no other. Political, economic and social leaders from around the world gather to discuss a number of wide-ranging topics always with an economic focus. There are some sessions on the agenda that will examine cross-cutting health issues: the use of technology in health, the promise of a cure for HIV and what common themes should shape the post-2015 Development Agenda.

On Monday, Mark Dybul (former Director of PEPFAR -- the American Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) took on his role as the new Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria. Among some of his first duties, he is in attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to begin the conversation about fully-funding the Global Fund in 2013 so it can meet the goals set in its strategy, Investment for Impact. He's also joining Bill Gates, Jeffrey Sachs and Muhammed Yunus for a discussion on catalyzing innovative development partnerships.

Here I Am Video of the Week

Lynette Mabote from South Africa on the need for leaders to continue to fund the Global Fund

I risk repeating myself, but 2013 is a critical year in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. It is no easy task to get billions of dollars together. But billions of dollars it will take for the Global Fund to continue its unprecedented attack on AIDS, TB and malaria and billions of dollars it will take to ensure the progress made on these diseases increases instead of stagnating or worse, waning.

At the very end of the agenda at Davos on Saturday afternoon is a session where panelists will debate the emerging issues of the year to come and discuss the implications of them for the global economy, business and industry in general.

What could be more transformative than investing in a globally-recognized transparent, accountable and effective mechanism to end the most deadly infections diseases? Our political, economic and social leaders don't have to look further than the Global Fund for a cost-effective, accountable and transparent mechanism that can transform the development agenda now and post-2015: the Global Fund is the tool to end AIDS, TB and malaria in our lifetimes.

As the new ED of the Global Fund said this week: "We have a historic opportunity to get these infectious diseases under control, which will change the fortunes of millions of lives and improve the development of many entire countries. With the right efforts, we can achieve truly great things."

Let's make 2013 be when political, economic and social leaders decided once and for all that we can end AIDS, TB and malaria and that we're going to do it now while the momentum of innovation is with us and the Global Fund has already built a base for success.

Lucy Chesire: TB-HIV advocate from Kenya, Alternate Board Member of the Global Fund Board Communities Delegation

The Here I Am campaign is a global call on world leaders to save millions of lives by supporting a fully funded Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Here I Am brings the voices of people that are directly affected by AIDS, TB and malaria into dialogue about decisions that affect their lives and the lives of millions of others in their countries. Through video testimonies from all over the world, campaign ambassador advocacy, online actions and on-the-ground mobilizations, the Here I Am campaign is building collective power to end three of the world's most deadly diseases. www.hereiamcampaign.org

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