Office of Press Relations
November 26, 2019
National Academy of Sciences
ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Marcia, thank you for those kind words. Marcia and I go back, as you mentioned, a number of years, and it's always been great to work with her, a real leader. She and I care about many of the same places and many of the same causes, so it's always good to be with her.
And also, thank you to our host, the National Academies of Science and Engineering. At USAID, we deeply appreciate our longstanding collaboration with you, one of the world's most prestigious and important scientific institutions. We're also glad to see many of our partners here today, including the TB Alliance. Our collaborative work has, among other things, supported the development and introduction of a new drug regimen to treat TB's deadliest forms. In August, the FDA approved this new combination of drugs, which will treat the disease more quickly and with better outcomes than ever before.
It will also prove beneficial to those Americans who are suffering from these forms of tuberculosis. So welcome, everyone. It's great and an honor to be with you.
Today is a day to celebrate passion and commitment of everyone who is here. For your tireless work to fight this terrible disease and for all that you have helped to accomplish already.
The road ahead won't be easy, but your resolve gives me confidence that together, one day, we will succeed in our goal: a world without tuberculosis. Because we all know this is a fight that demands the full weight of our efforts. As the world's leading infectious disease killer, TB claims 1.5 million lives each and every year.
It devastates families and communities. As Marcia said, especially the impoverished and the marginalized, who are least able to access care. Those who can access care typically lose half their annual income because of missed work and treatment costs. In many places, TB also carries a vicious stigma, discouraging people from seeking treatment.
Women suffer disproportionately from this discrimination and the burden of lost family income.
Wherever TB is present, it is an obstacle to development. It's an obstacle to prosperity. It reduces productivity, strains the delivery of health care and social services, and deprives communities and countries of their most precious resource: human energy. I'm proud that USAID has been on the frontlines of the fight against TB and working with partners like those who are here today and represented today. Yeah, we've accomplished a lot. Since 2014, we've helped achieve nearly a 50 percent reduction in TB related deaths across priority countries, saving more than 58 million lives in the process. But TB is stubborn and persistent.
So one year ago at the UN General Assembly, we launched USAID's Global Accelerator to end TB. Alongside heads of state from countries where TB is most prevalent, we committed to an ambitious goal of reaching 40 million people with treatment by 2022. The Accelerator uses a new business model to get us there. One built around catalyzing local resources and private sector investments, tapping into local expertise, including the faith-based organizations that have earned unique trust in many hard to reach communities and using data-driven performance-based metrics to optimize our investments.
A model that fully reflects our private sector engagement policy. Our acquisitions and assistance strategy. And our vision for the Journey to Self-Reliance. Over the last year, USAID has worked hard to apply this new model and reach our new goal.
And today, I'm proud to share with you some of the progress. First, our USAID Missions have signed statements of partnership with the Ministries of Health in 17 countries, or more than 70 percent of our TB priority countries. You can see the list here [points].
These partnerships statements are concrete commitments to implement initiatives that will help each country achieve its share of that 40 million global target. Second, we'll be launching these partnership statements on our website today.
Transparency and accountability are a pillar of the Accelerator. We also demonstrate our shared commitment to strengthen the capacity of governments and our partner countries. In just one year, we have embedded nearly 40 TB experts at the Ministries of Health in 20 countries to assist with this effort. And third, I am pleased to announce progress on one of the most important components of the Accelerator. At the launch, I committed us to 50 direct awards to local organizations. Today, I can announce the progress that we've made.
Today, I am proud to announce eight such awards across Cambodia, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Of the eight awardees, six of them are new USAID partners. In fact, one of them is here with us today, the Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops. You'll hear from them later today on a panel hosted by USAID Counselor Chris Milligan. As local organizations, these new partners are trusted voices in their communities that we're all trying to reach. That's important to understanding people's unique needs and not just as it relates to TB.
Perhaps most importantly, it means they're particularly well suited to address the issue of stigmatization. Of course, there will be more awards to come. We'll continue to prioritize working directly with organizations like these. I expect us to be halfway to our 50 local awards by the end of this calendar year. And we will do everything that we can to reach it by World TB Day next March. These are all key steps and we should be proud of the progress that we can celebrate today. We'll continue to finalize new awards and form new exciting partnerships, each one bringing us closer to our target of reaching 40 million people, helping to save countless lives and yes, eventually ending TB globally.
I look forward to seeing even more of our impact and share more progress with you. But there is so much that we need to do. And so I call on everyone here today and those in the broader international community to continue working closely with us, with everyone represented here today in the fight to end TB. To move us closer each and every day toward that goal. USAID and the entire U.S. Government is committed to playing its part. And I'm confident that together we will make it to the finish line.
Thanks to all of you for what you've done. Thanks to all of you for what you're doing. And far more importantly, thanks to all of you for what you will do in the months and years ahead. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have a lot to celebrate today for it.