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Virendra Sharma MP joins stars to back Global Fund fight against killer diseases

Global_Fund_.jpgEaling, Southall MP Virendra Sharma has urged the UK Government to continue its support for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Alongside former Eurythmics lead singer Annie Lennox, NAME attended the parliamentary awareness event on, TB and malaria.

Victory against the trio of deadly infections is within reach, Mr Sharma was told - though only if the UK Government shows ambitious support for the Global Fund. 

Along with leading charities and pressure groups, Mr Sharma joined other MPS in a call for the new PM Theresa May’s UK Government to pledge £1.2 billion to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria– enough money to save 1.1million lives.

Virendra Sharma MP, said:

The UK must be sure it pledges to replenish the Global Fund, but at an increased rate. The UK should continue to play a role as a global leader, and demonstrate that here.”

Annie Lennox, who gave the keynote speech at the event, said:

We should be proud of the strong leadership role and dedication to global public health that the UK has shown to date. But now is the critical time to invest further in the global response against the three diseases if we are to reach the sustainable development goal targets by 2030.

 With the upcoming replenishment of the Global Fund, and amid political uncertainty, the UK government has the opportunity to demonstrate that Britain’s continued leadership and dedication to saving and improving quality of life has not waned.”

The parliamentary meeting was hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Groups on HIV, TB and malaria, respectively, and co-organised by leading NGOs and charities The ONE Campaign, STOPAIDS, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Malaria No More UK, RESULTS UK and Comic Relief.

Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mark Dybul said:

The UK is world leader in fighting these diseases. The UK set the global standard for others to follow in helping others with its 0.7% commitment of national income to overseas development.

“It is the UK’s strong global leadership that we hope will continue and go on inspiring others as we face an important time in our history fighting these diseases.”

British adventurer and Malaria No More UK special ambassador Ash Dykes also spoke at the event:

I nearly died from malaria earlier this year on my expedition crossing Madagascar. It was a life changer. I also saw how this disease rips communities apart – with the majority of victims being young children. That’s why the Global Fund and UK leadership is so important, and it’s making a real difference - over 550 million mosquito nets have been distributed since 2002. That’s an incredible achievement.”

ONE’s UK Director (interim) Saira O’Mallie, said:

Amid the uncertainty over the UK’s position in the world following Brexit, the Government’s continued commitment to the Global Fund will offer reassurance to millions of vulnerable people - especially girls and women - that the UK remains steadfastly on their side in the battle to stop HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria.”

The Global Fund is to hold its next replenishment later this year in Canada and aims to raise the US13 billion needed to save eight million lives.

The call for the UK to join other governments in replenishing the Fund ahead of the September 16th deadline is also backed  by Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, extreme explorer Ash Dykes and cosmetics and style blogger Tanya Burr, who has just returned from a trip to South Africa to witness how the Fund saves and changes lives.

Burr is urging her five million You Tube followers to sign a petition urging the government to back the Global Fund - https://www.one.org/us/take-action/global-fund/.

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