Bamako, Mali — Mali and the Global Fund strengthened their partnership by signing three new grant agreements totalling €108 million to achieve greater impact against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to build sustainable systems of health.
The financial resources provided through the Global Fund come from many sources and partners, including France, which was represented at a signing ceremony this week.
HIV, malaria and tuberculosis remain major public health challenges in Mali. Malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children under five, and Mali carries a high burden of HIV-TB co-infection.
Mali's Minister of Solidarity, Humanitarian Action and Reconstruction of the North Hamadou Konaté, called the ceremony a demonstration of solidarity between partners.
"I would like to stress our commitment and promise you that we will spare no effort in the success of these programs," Konaté said.
The HIV grant of €46 million aims to provide access to anti-retroviral treatment for people living with HIV and by ensuring that at least 65 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women receive treatment to prevent the transmission of the virus to her child.
The malaria grant of €55 million will permit the distribution of mosquito nets in three highly affected regions of the country and the provision of effective treatment for all adults and children diagnosed with malaria.
Mali will use the tuberculosis grant of €7.5 million to increase the treatment success rate for patients with tuberculosis and to ensure that, by 2017, 90 percent tuberculosis patients co-infected with HIV also receive anti-retroviral treatment.
Significant funding within these grants will also go towards strengthening community systems in the efforts to reach the most vulnerable and to leave no one behind. Additionally, the funds will strengthen the procurement and supply management capacity at national and sub-national levels and reinforce the national health information system.
France, the second largest contributor to the Global Fund, was represented by France's Ambassador to Mali, Gilles Huberson. He welcomed the signing of the three grants, which will help build on the progress made in combating the pandemics in Mali.
"Beyond these figures, I especially want to commend the Government of Mali for its commitment in public health programs. The strengthening of health systems and community systems is indeed a prerequisite for the effectiveness of the fight against pandemics," said Ambassador Huberson.
Tina Draser, the Global Fund's Regional Manager for Western Africa and Middle East, stressed that the launch of the grants is the result of what can be accomplished when government, civil society and all partners work together to achieve a common goal.
The grants will be managed by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Population Service International (PSI) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The Ministry of Health of Mali and civil society organisations will play an essential role in the implementation of the programs.