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Global Fund Official Delivers Speech At ICASA Closing Plenary Session

The 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) ended on Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where “the final plenary session … left the audience with a notion of hope and urgency that despite the Global Fund’s cancellation of Round 11 disbursements, the organization will continue to campaign, raise funds and place pressure on governments in both the donor and recipient arenas,” an ICASA news article reports (12/8). Speaking at the session, “Global Fund Deputy Executive Director Debrework Zewdie felt compelled to reassure those benefiting from the fund,” saying, “‘Everyone who is on treatment funded by the Global Fund will stay on treatment,'” according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur/M&C (Frentzen/Waswa, 12/8).

“‘The Global Fund is here to stay,’ Zewdie said, receiving cheers from the conference attendees,” the ICASA article states, adding, “‘We want to remind the donor countries that this is not the time to reprioritize the fight against AIDS, after having invested billions of dollars,’ she explained.” Zewdie continued, “We want to remind African governments that they need to deliver on the Abuja commitment and start taking ownership in the struggle. … Today we stand at a critical juncture, and we find ourselves fighting for new resources but also fighting to protect the gains we have made,’ Zewdie exclaimed,” according to the article (12/8).

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