French President Emmanuel Macron and Sir Elton John called for help in raising $14 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria at the Solidays music festival in Paris on Friday.
Solidays is a music festival that takes place every June, put on by Solidarité SIDA, an HIV/AIDS awareness organization. The annual event brings together hundreds of artists and saw 228,000 attendees this year. The festival raises funds that are donated to organizations tackling the AIDS epidemic.
Macron also presented John with the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest civilian award, for his lifelong commitment to the arts and the fight against HIV on Friday.
“Around the world, AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria still affect millions and millions of people and kill with crushing inequality,” Macron told the crowd in French. “Because the poorer a person is, the more remote of an area in which they live — already hit by climate change and extreme poverty — the more affected they will be.”
Macron told the crowd that the Global Fund, which was established in 2002, had saved 27 million lives to date. In order to save another 16 million lives, committing funds at the next replenishment conference in essential. The Global Fund’s sixth replenishment conference, which will provide a moment for various stakeholders to announce their financial pledges to the fund, is set to take place in Lyon in October 2019.
J'ai besoin de vous pour sauver 16 millions de vies. Soyez au rendez-vous, je compte sur vous. https://t.co/9MuIZ2CHrx— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 21, 2019
“The fight against AIDS has been my passion for many, many years,” John said in a statement. “We have made such incredible progress, but we cannot become complacent. A fully replenished Global Fund is essential if we are going to consign this disease to history. I commend President Macron for his leadership in this effort.”
The Elton John AIDS Foundation, which launched in 1993, partners with the Global Fund to provide treatment, care, and support for people living with HIV around the world. The foundation, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to date, is dedicated to a world with no more discrimination, no more HIV infections, and no more AIDS deaths.
“Sir Elton John has been one of the most steadfast and outspoken supporters of the fight against HIV, and France is a world leader in rallying support, funding, and research to end AIDS,” said Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands.
The Global Fund aims to raise at least USD $14 billion for the next three years to help save 16 million lives and prevent 234 million infections.