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Pre-recorded keynote speech by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the preparatory meeting for the 7th Global Fund Replenishment

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Chair of the Global Fund Board, Dr Donald Kaberuka,
Your Excellencies, Fellow African Heads of State and Co-Hosts of this Preparatory Meeting,
High Level Representatives of France and the United States of America,
Representatives of Global Fund Partners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour to share some thoughts at this preparatory meeting for the 7th Global Fund Replenishment to be hosted by President Biden of the United States.

South Africa has a long-standing partnership with the Global Fund, both as an implementing partner and as a donor to the Global Fund.

A strong global partnership to overcome HIV, TB and Malaria is, in many ways, even more important now than it was at the formation of the Global Fund.

Twenty years ago, the world was in the midst of an AIDS pandemic.

As a country, South Africa had a particularly high burden of HIV/AIDS, TB and related co-infections.

South Africa has made great strides in tackling TB and HIV since then.

Access to antiretroviral medicines and other life-saving medicines was prioritised.

We extend our sincere appreciation to the Global Fund as a strategic partner for the support provided to our country for the success we have recorded.

Over the years, South Africa has complemented the support of the Global Fund with domestic investment in HIV/AIDS and TB programmes.

While we have made great progress in tackling HIV and TB – focusing on prevention, testing and treatment – we have fallen behind in reaching our 90/90/90 treatment targets.

We will be focusing and quickening our pace to meet the 2025 treatment targets.

South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 8 million people living with HIV.

South Africa is still burdened by TB and accounts for 3% of cases worldwide.

We are pleased that twenty years ago, the world heeded the call to fight these pandemics and came together to establish the Global Fund.

Global solidarity needs to be strengthened as we seek to build health systems on the African continent.

The COVID -19 pandemic has made governments, policy makers and health practitioners realise that to achieve and sustain universal health coverage we must be prepared to respond quickly in tackling pandemics.

We need to have readily necessary resources available for testing and treatment, and the ability to quickly distribute appropriate diagnostics, medications and vaccines.

We also need to ensure equitable access for all.

We encourage the Global fund to remain focused on its core mandate.

The Global Fund is a vital part of building the resilience of African health systems, not only so that they can win the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria, but also to secure the health and well-being of all Africans.

I am therefore calling on global leaders to continue to demonstrate determination, solidarity and foresight, and to enthusiastically support the 7th Replenishment of the Global Fund.

If we can do this together no one will be left behind.

I thank you.