Feature story

Michel Sidibé urges Qatar to increase contributions towards AIDS response

28 January 2010

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director encouraged Qatar to increase its contributions to AIDS, health and development.
Credit: UNAIDS

During his official visit to Qatar, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé encouraged the country to increase its contributions to AIDS, health and development at this critical time of the global recession.

“I believe that wealthier states, especially in the Gulf region, have a special responsibility to alleviate the world’s distress, and I encourage them to increase their contributions to AIDS, health and development at this critical time.” said Mr Sidibé.

In 2008, Qatar recorded a per capita GDP of US$ 72,000, among the highest in the world. Even under the global economic crisis, its GDP growth remained at 9.5%.

During his meeting with Doha's Minister of Health, H.E Abdullah bin Khaled Al Qahtani, Mr Sidibé congratulated the state of Qatar on its commitment to create a healthcare system that is aiming at providing the most effective and advanced healthcare for its people and become a model of the world to follow.

Since its formation in 2006, Qatar’s National AIDS Committee has taken major steps forward in the efforts to control HIV spread. This includes working closely with the industrial sector to limit HIV spread in the workplace, partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to establish a strategy on HIV prevention, and holding several workshops on HIV targeting community leaders from the media, the religious sector, and other community sectors.

In 2001, Qatar signed a Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health that led directly to more than 4 million people gaining access to antiretroviral treatment for AIDS. The same year, Qatar made a pledge by signing a United Nations General Assembly Special Session Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.

Mr Sidibé highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in helping the developing world launch itself on the path of sustainable development when he met Abdullah H. Al-Nameh, Executive Director and General Manager of the Qatar Charity, a non-government organization that supports the Qatari society and other needy communities abroad.

Established in 1992, the Qatar Charity focuses its work in the fields of humanitarian relief and development through the development of education and culture-related programmes targeting families, women and children. One of the largest charities in the Gulf, its activities covering more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, the Qatar Charity uses its field offices or local civil society organizations as implementing partners.