Cameroon's Major Involvement in the Fight

The participation of President Biya and wife Chantal in the Global Fund Replenishment Conference left no one indifferent.

There was certainly no better way Cameroon could let the World know it is fully concerned and disturbed by the upsurge of HIV AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, three diseases that are taking a toll on the World's population. For twodays running, from October 09 to 10, President Paul Biya and wife Chantal, sat tight following up all deliberations at the Lyon Convention Centre. In effect, President Biya was one of the five few African leaders, host President Emmanuel Macron of France invited for the fundraising exercise. And as fate would have it, the evening dinner that preceded the fundraising day, was occasion for Biya and Macron to make a round of assessment on the situation of the three diseases and of course for President Biya to tell him the whole story about Cameroon's case. In his welcome remarks to launch the collection of the funds, President Macron once more recalled the discussion he had with President Biya on the challenges ahead.

Apart from the exchange of views during the evening dinner, the presence of the Presidential couple in Lyon was also occasion for the two Heads of State to have a separate discussion on the issue and take advantage to make a thorough review of cooperation between Paris and Yaounde. As concerns the issue at hand, the President who spoke to reporters after his meeting with Macron, assured that his country is well engaged and practically active in the cooperation to fight against HIV AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, stating that Cameroon's contribution to the Global Fund Replenishment amounts to CFA three billion; an amount that can save several lives from the killer diseases. Cameroon, it should be recalled is one of the countries that has benefitted from the Global Fund money which has helped significantly in scaling down HIV prevalence rate and others. But as President Biya warned, demographic evolution calls for re-adaptation. As far as Malaria is concerned, he assured reporters in the following words; "we are determined to fight the pandemic; we shouldn't be discouraged."

In effect, the participation of Cameroon in the Lyon Conference was an opportunity to recognise the support of the Global Fund since 2003, with a global value of FCFA 315 billion, through eight grants for AIDS, seven for malaria and four for tuberculosis. It also provided an opportunity for Cameroon to advocate for a reconsideration of the sanctions taken by the Global Fund against Cameroon in the context of financing. The government must have equally used the occasion to present the measures taken through the creation of a special account at the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) for the counterpart funds of the various projects to which Cameroon is committed. The counterpart funds not yet mobilised represent FCFA 20 billion. The participation of the President at the Conference in Lyon gave additional weight for future discussions with the Global Fund and the recognition of France for what the First lady, Chantal Biya has done to curb the spread of these pathologies.

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