UNAIDS, Global Fund pressure Francophonie members

22nd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria and UNAIDS on Friday called on French-speaking countries to do more to fight the diseases.

As the International Organisation of La Francophonie was set to meet in this Swiss city, a joint Global Fund and UNAIDS statement said closer cooperation between the organisation's 70 members would lead to more "competence and experience".

"The Francophonie is a key forum which groups donor countries of the Global Fund and countries that receive funds," said the fund's executive director Michel Kazatchkine.

"It is an essential bridge between North and South," he said.

Global Fund and UNAIDS experts agree that least developed French-speaking countries are not underfunded compared to their English-speaking counterparts.

"These countries have 13 percent of HIV cases in the world and receive 20 percent of the Fund's AIDS aid," said Stefan Emblad, head of the Resource Mobilization Unit at the Global Fund.

Emblad said French-speaking countries receive three times more Fund aid per person than the average country.

The problem was therefore more the lack of skills accompanying projects in Francophone countries, he added.

If countries "like Senegal or Burkina Faso manage to use provided funds to their advantage, others like the Central African Republic have serious problems" because they're lacking the specialist knowledge and infrastructre, Cyrille Dubois, the Global Fund's regional team leader for West and Central Africa, told AFP.

© 2010 AFP

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