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Package of Business Actions to Change the Complexion of the Fight Against HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria

Submitted by: GBCHealth

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Health & Wellness

Posted: Jun 09, 2008 – 11:25 AM EST

 

- June 9, 2008 - A powerful package of business actions, seen as the harbinger of a new phase in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, kicfks off in New York on June 9.

"The evolution of business' role as an active partner in the fight has reached a point at which a major, world-changing breakthrough is possible," says John Tedstrom, executive director of a Coalition of more than 225 companies globally.

The build-up in resources and increased focus has to be about more than funding. The critical factor going forward is to do a better job of matching specific business infrastructure and talents to gaps in the fight, and then have business be an active partner on the ground. This has been happening in many ways, but the scaling-up requires moving from isolated partnering to globally- and nationally-coordinated partnering.

"In past years, we've said we're losing the fight," says Tedstrom. "Sadly, that's still true. But what we do and how we do it has been evolving for years. Not fast enough, but still evolving.

"My message: Seize the moment. The way to do this is coordination-smart, strong partnerships at all levels. And make those partnerships work. Let's make them work wonders.

"The Coalition itself has been building for years, just as business action has been maturing. We're strong on the fundamentals. Here are three ways we are, right now, building on those fundamentals in the most ambitious set of partnerships ever launched by the Coalition."

The Coalition-the corporate sector-in and extraordinary partnership with UNAIDS, the Global Fund, and the special envoys for both TB and malaria-are teaming on a global scale that will solve a major impediment to success.

"We are getting to work to develop a roadmap for business that will chart the way to a cost-effective, results-intensive engagement to turn the corner in our fight, Tedstrom says. "It will identify the gaps in technology, resources, infrastructure, and know-how that business can, in concert with key partners, fill and in so doing make the right difference in the right places at the right time. We will deliver the roadmap to the Secretary-General on World AIDS Day, 2009, and will begin work the next day to mobilize business in a bigger, more strategic, coordinated, and effective way. Between now and then, this collaboration will inform nearer-term actions."

The first of the Coalition's critical-action teams-announced in December and known as Impact Initiatives-will be in full swing within three months. Tedstrom announced the Impact Initiative that will happen in Kenya, and noted that a partnership in China among the private sector and the Chinese government on AIDS education is also gearing up.

"A couple of weeks ago, the Coalition signed a strategic partnership with the government of Kenya that will allow us, in partnership with member companies and including AMPATH, to dramatically scale up HIV testing by going to the homes of more than 2 million Kenyans," Tedstrom reports. "The partnership will, during these visits, also provide TB screening, insecticide-treated bed nets, and medications for worm infestations."

Finally, the Coalition is tightening the business-sector integration into the fight against malaria.

"Business is taking a major step to integrate itself in a big way into the UN's fight against malaria," Tedstrom announced. "The Coalition is joining forces with the New York Stock Exchange, the UN Foundation, and Malaria No More to help close the bed net gap by the end of 2010, and to help make sure that goal is real and delivered on. We will create a movement of our members to provide up to 10 million bed nets and deliver them to people who need them as quickly as humanly possible.

"These new partnerships represent a hugely important beginning to a new era that takes our work to the next level, and deepens our impact on lives around the world."

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