Prime Minister Trudeau announces support for The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria
Good morning everyone. Thanks for being here today.
As we enter the second week of the For McMurray fire, we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to all those displaced at this time. Canadians have demonstrated extraordinary compassion over the last few days, giving generously to the Canadian Red Cross, donating their time to the relief efforts, and opening their homes to those in need.
I’d like to reassure everyone that the federal, provincial, and municipal governments are doing absolutely everything we can to offer our full support to this community.
The Government of Canada is continuing to match Red Cross donations, and we’d like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support to date.
You know, it’s in times of tragedy that we get to the core of who we are as Canadians. We have an unwavering sense of community, we look out for each other, and we take care of those in need.
And this isn’t just the case for our neighbours here at home. In the reality of a 21st century global community, we understand the importance of helping those outside our borders, as well.
That’s why I’m happy to make this announcement today.
Let me just say first that I’m honoured to be joined by so many distinguished guests. Smart and committed people who do outstanding work – here in Canada and right around the world.
Just as important, I’m happy to see so many young faces in the audience. As I’ve said before, young people aren’t the leaders of tomorrow – they’re the leaders of today. And it’s their leadership that will help to make this world a better place for everyone in it.
And the world needs exactly that. Leadership. Vision. Enthusiasm. And above all, action.
You see it’s easy to think that things should be different. Taking action is where things get tough. It’s where we have to make some difficult decisions. It’s where we have to confront the reality that the world that we live in isn’t always kind or fair, especially for women and girls.
But the fact that it’s hard doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility to try to make things better. And it is our shared responsibility to concern ourselves with the big challenges, like how to improve the health of the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
This is especially true when we consider the epidemics that continue to ravage countries around the world. Epidemics that are not contained by lines on a map. Epidemics like AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Many of us spent yesterday with family, celebrating Mother’s Day. We want to make sure that moms around the world live long and healthy lives, surrounded by their equally healthy, happy loved ones.
Thankfully, organizations like the Global Fund exist to make a real difference. It works hard each and every day to deliver help to those who need it most.
The Global Fund is the main funding body tackling the prevention and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. The work they do is so important. They truly do save lives each and every day.
Since 2002, Canada has contributed more than $2.1 billion to the Global Fund. Through partnerships with other governments, civil society, the private sector, and those affected by these diseases, we’ve supported programs in over 140 countries.
But the numbers don’t matter as much as the outcomes do.
Because of the work that the Global Fund does, millions of people have received life-saving treatment for tuberculosis. Millions have received antiretroviral treatment for HIV. And more than half a billion mosquito nets have been distributed to the areas and the citizens that need preventative help the most.
Canada has long been a leader in the fight against these diseases.
And today, I’m proud to announce that, in the months and years ahead, we will do even more.
To start, Canada will host the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in Montréal on September 16, 2016. The last replenishment conference was hosted by President Obama in Washington, D.C. in 2013. We are honoured to continue that important work.
In addition, we’re pledging $785 million for the Global Fund during the 2017 to 2019 term. This represents a 20 per cent increase from Canada’s last pledge.
And finally, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Global Fund’s “End It For Good” social media campaign. This campaign encourages the public – and particularly young people – to raise awareness about these three diseases through social media.
As an important voice on the world stage, Canada – and all Canadians – have a duty to lead by example.
The commitments we’ve announced today will help vulnerable citizens live better lives. Lives that are longer, healthier, and free from the burden of disease.
It’s an honour for Canada to be a part of this initiative.
And it’s a true expression of Canadian values. In Canada, we care for each other, we support those in need, and we recognize that health and wellness underpin every other effort we make. Here at home, and around the world.
I want to thank the Global Fund for its continued vision and leadership.
Working together, we can and will continue to save lives.