Local celebrities like Trevor Noah (pictured left), Zonke and Charlize Theron join global artists including Sir Elton John, Zara Larsson, Penélope Cruz, Annie Lennox, Ed Sheeran, David Oyelowo, Freida Pinto, Jennifer Garner, Thandie Newton, Diane Kruger, Simon Pegg, Neil Patrick Harris and Youssou N’Dour, among others, in signing an open letter to seven-year-olds promising to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics by 2030 – the year the children will become adults. The letter is a call to action for the world to step up the fight to end the three deadliest infectious diseases.
The letter reads: “Let’s be honest, we’re leaving you with a long to-do list – fighting injustice, promoting equality, protecting the planet. But, we promise you this: over the next 11 years, we are going to do everything we can to remove one thing from that list. Actually, we’ll remove three things: AIDS. Tuberculosis. Malaria. We will step up the fight, so you don’t have to.”
Fight against all three diseases
The open letter, which launched in August 2019, encourages the public to add their names in support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, one of the world’s leading funders in the fight to end the three diseases as epidemics by 2030. Global artists, athletes and activists from around the world have already signed the letter in advance of the launch.
Celebrated players from France’s national football teams have also pledged their support, including Amandine Henry (pictured right), the captain of the national women’s team, and Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar from the national men’s team.
This year is a decisive moment in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. France will host the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference in Lyon 10 October 2019, where world leaders, philanthropists and companies will gather to make pledges to the Global Fund. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion for the next three years to help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.
“When global leaders signed on to the Sustainable Development Goals, they made a promise to end the epidemics of AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030. We are determined to make this a reality. By stepping up the fight, we can free the next generation from these terrible diseases,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
The letter to seven-year-olds is supported by leading advocacy organization Global Citizen. From today, the public can take action by signing the letter for the chance to earn tickets to the Global Citizen Festival in New York in September 2019.
To make the promise, visit stepupthefight.org.