(RED) Just Pledged $150 Million to The Global Fund
At last week’s Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Lyon, France, (RED) ambassador Connie and her daughter, Lubona, took the stage to announce (RED)’s bold pledge—$150 million over the next three years. Thanks to (RED) and other donors from all over the world, the Global Fund was able to reach its funding goal of US$14 billion. WE DID IT!! These funds will help save 16 million lives and get the world back on track to end AIDS, TB, and malaria by 2030.
Check out Connie’s remarks from the conference:
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Hello. My name is Constance Mudenda and I’m a (RED) ambassador from Lusaka, Zambia.
It’s an honor to be here today, to be among so many people who, like me, don’t just talk about the idea of ending HIV, but are actually doing something about it.
For far too long, living or dying with HIV came down to being lucky…or being unlucky. My story is one of both.
I contracted HIV unknowingly. Unlucky. An invisible virus passed to me, and then, passed on to all three of my children. Unlucky. I lived in a place where there was no help. Unlucky. I lost all three of my children to HIV before knowing what had happened. The term “unlucky” hardly does justice to this horrific injustice… but that’s what it was.
My luck started to turn around, just when the very people I’m sitting amongst today started to acknowledge a global humanitarian crisis that could no longer be ignored. I was tested. Lucky. I was counseled. Lucky. I started ARVs, first at a price, later for free. Lucky. I found mentors and friends who welcomed me and my status with open arms. So lucky.
And today, I am the insanely proud mother to Lubona, who is HIV free. This is no longer about luck. This is about decades of hard work, money, and activsim that has deliveredcounseling, treatment and dignity for millions of people just like me. My life today is because of the people in this room who have chosen to take luck out of the equation and instead put justice in its place.
This Sunday will be my 49th birthday and my 15th anniversary on ARVs - a celebration of my life twice in one day. There’s no better way for me and Lubona to celebrate than here with everyone in this room.
I’m honored to make a pledge on behalf of (RED)’s incredible, lifesaving private sector partners. We came to France to announce $130M dollars - a 30% increase. Bold.
But...sometimes even the bold, must go bolder. We’re not going to end AIDS unless we accelerate urgency. (RED) has always been the color of emergency, and today, we’re raising the alarm bell.
I’m proud to announce (RED)’s pledge of $150 million. It’s bold and I hope that many others will step up even higher.
Zicomo. merci. Thank you.