Remarks by Ambassador Harry Thomas at the Global Fund Grant Signing Ceremony

 

Rainbow Towers, Harare 

January 17, 2017 at 12:30pm

 

Dr. David Parirenyatwa, Minister of Health and Child Care

Patrick Chinamasa, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning

Representatives from the Global Fund

Distinguished partners

All protocols observed

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this important event.

Sithandekile Chilenje is an 18 year old beneficiary of one of PEPFAR’s flagship initiatives – DREAMS.  It stands for determined, resilient, empowered, AIDS free, mentored and safe.     She is proud of how the DREAMS initiative has enabled her to know her status and acquire useful skills to generate an income.  Sithandekile is now in a better position to make decisions that help her remain safe from acquiring HIV.  She weaves baskets and can even make you marmalade jam!  She sells these products and can now take care of her basic needs.  Most importantly, she does not go out looking for sugar daddies or blessers who often take advantage of poor girls in need.

The DREAMS initiative is transforming the lives of many beneficiaries and with more resources, like the grant we’re signing today, even more lives can be transformed.

Let me congratulate Minister Parirenyatwa and his Ministry for its leadership in engaging partners and developing strategies that are transparent, evidenced based, and effective in mitigating the spread of HIV.  Zimbabwe’s success and leadership in breaking the cycle of HIV and AIDS has placed it amongst the five high-burden African countries on the path towards epidemic control!  This fact truly deserves a round of applause!

The United States government believes that epidemic control can only be achieved by addressing the unique HIV prevention and care needs of all individuals. That’s why I’m glad to know that this grant has secured matching funds that are earmarked towards improved access to comprehensive services for Key Populations, which includes men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and young adolescent girls, like   Sithandekile whom I mentioned earlier, should surely benefit from this grant.  We believe that through transparency, accountability, and the power of partnership, these resources can accelerate progress, even within a context of financial constraints and economic challenges.

The U.S. government applauds Zimbabwe for developing a technically sound proposal and being a successful early applicant to the new funding model.  Grant accountability has also fared well as Nicolae-Daniel Petrescu and the Office of the Inspectorate General can attest, and we are proud to be associated with such performance.  The United States is pleased with its longstanding relationship with the Global Fund, and we are proud to be its largest contributor, pledging over $4 billion during this fifth replenishment period.

We have a historic opportunity to end HIV and AIDS, TB, and Malaria so let me recognize and thank all stakeholders who participated in the development of this new grant.

Well done Zimbabwe, we are all honored to be a part of this important work.

Thank you.