“We want to make a promise to you. Not a promise we can keep today, but a promise you can count on when you turn 18.”
Thus begins the ‘open letter’ from the Global Fund – signed by a large number of high-profile artists and athletes – to 7-year-olds everywhere, who will be 18 in 2030, the target date of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The letter acknowledges the list of weighty issues on the children of today’s to-do list – fighting injustice, promoting equality, protecting the planet – and recounts a brief history of the Global Fund and its impact. But it also addresses head on the threats to the progress already made against the three diseases, and appeals to the world leaders who will meet at the Global Fund’s Replenishment conference on October 10, in Lyon, to raise at least $14 billion to help save 16 million more lives over the next three years, and end the three diseases as epidemics by 2030 – the year that today’s 7-year-olds turn 18 and become adults.
The celebrity signatories to the letter include Annie Lennox, Baaba Maal, Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Ed Sheeran, Ndileka Mandela, Richard Curtis, Sir Elton John, Stephen Fry, Thandie Newton, Trevor Noah, as well as Amandine Henry, captain of the French women’s national football team, and more.
The campaign aims to collect as many signatures from the public as possible in support of the appeal to the world leaders representing the Global Fund’s major donors. After signing the open letter (there is a short form fill out on the ‘Step up the fight’ web page), participants can click on the ‘full list of signatures’ and see the names of everyone who has signed the letter so far, as well as download campaign images and banners designed for sharing on social media.
A Global Fund spokesperson told the GFO: “This is intended to be a broad campaign to gather public support for the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and to raise awareness that the diseases are still a global challenge. The outcome will be used at the Replenishment conference in Lyon, and is part of our ongoing planning for that date.”