Thursday 19 December 2019

Honourable Minister

UNAIDS country representative

PEPFAR coordinator and team

Eswatini Country Coordination Mechanism team

Senior Government officials

NERCHA Council Chairperson

CANGO Director

Members of the media

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour to welcome all of you to Cabinet offices today to acknowledge and celebrate three major cooperation achievements that have benefited the people of Eswatini.

These are the 2022-2024 Global Fund allocation, the investment made by The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) towards the fight against HIV and AIDS and the success of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

This is indeed an exciting day where we officially announce a Global Fund allocation of US$54 million (approximately E755 million) to the Kingdom of Eswatini to enhance the fight against HIV, tubercolosis, malaria and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health.

This new allocation shows an increase of about E56 million from the ongoing Global Fund grant that commenced in 2018 and is coming to an end in 2020 for Malaria, and 2021 for HIV and TB.

We attribute this improved grant to the vision, leadership and commitment demonstrated by His Majesty King Mswati III in the response against AIDS, TB and Malaria. It was only in October this year when His Majesty made a pledge of US$6 million to the Global Fund during the replenishment summit held in France. Today we are seeing the fruits of the King’s vision, foresight and commitment to the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria and overall universal health.

The Government of Eswatini is highly indebted to the Global Fund for its continued support to our health sector which began in 2003 and, with this new allocation, now amounts to over E4.2 billion. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), the Ministry of Health, NERCHA and in-country Partners such as PEPFAR, United States Government, the UN family and the European Union for working closely with Government to attract this level of funding from the Global Fund over the years.

It remains for me to encourage the Principal Recipients of this grant to intensify their collaboration with all implementing partners in order to fast-track grant implementation projects and processes on the ground and realize tangible benefits for the health sector, ensuring that we realize the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Health for All.”

Intervention programmes that have benefited from the Global Fund over the years have brought this country close to the elimination of malaria, decreased the incidence of TB and saw a reduction of new HIV infections.

Eswatini truly appreciates the role played by our development partners in supporting the HIV and AIDS response. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has over the years invested vastly to the HIV response as a key partner of the Kingdom, thus making a telling contribution towards the vision of ending AIDS.

Today, the Kingdom of Eswatini has made great strides in meeting the 90-90-90 target, and as a result we have since re-adjusted our objective and set a 95-95-95 target. This means 95% of HIV positive people should know their HIV status, 95% of those should be on treatment and of those on treatment, 95% should be virally suppressed. Achieving this goal will bring Eswatini closer to the vision of ending AIDS by 2022. I remain confident that the country will conquer AIDS with effective implementation of our response programmes combined with resolute collaboration with our international partners.

Eswatini has already saved over 15 000 lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and is accelerating progress toward controlling the global HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2022.

May I also acknowledge the role that has been played by the United Nations through the implementation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). This is a programme that commenced in 2016, with a financial envelope of US$80 million under the ‘Delivering as One modality’, to support the fast-tracking of Eswatini’s development objectives in collaboration with development partners, and working to deliver a harmonized response to HIV and AIDS. 

Government appreciates the role of the United Nations in fostering cooperation, coordination and enhanced UN coherence in the spirit of “Delivering as One”.

This intervention has gone a long way towards achieving measurable results and impacted our joint response to the development needs of Eswatini. The UNDAF, as a five year programme, comes to an end in 2020. His Majesty’s Government and the United Nations are currently developing a new Cooperation Framework.

It is important to give assurance that this framework is nationally owned and anchored on national development priorities, the 2030 Agenda and the principles of the UN Charter.  The duration of the new cooperation framework under development will be the period 2021 – 2025. Government looks forward to the successful preparation and development of this new framework.

May I once again, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, pass my gratitude to the Global Fund for supporting Eswatini’s health efforts and for the valuable contribution of all our development partners.

Thank you.

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