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Joint Open Letter To Global Fund: 80+ Endorsements, Governments Speaking Out

Joint Open Letter of Concern About Global Fund Partnering with Big Alcohol:

80+ Endorsements Worldwide and Governments Speak Out

More than 80 civil society organisations have signed onto the joint open letter requesting that The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reconsider a partnership announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos with Dutch alcohol industry giant, Heineken.

And after Norway, also the Swedish government has now publicly announced its criticism of the Global Fund partnering with the alcohol industry.

Overwhelming support

The joint open letter was issued by IOGT International, NCD Alliance and the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance and has received support from civil society organizations worldwide, spanning various interests and communities, such as public health, sustainable development, alcohol prevention, HIV/ AIDS response, NCDs control and cancer control, addiction recovery, as well as social justice and human rights defenders. Notable endorsements have come from WEMOS and other NGOs based in the Netherlands, from the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and from Vital Strategies.

Endorsements have flowed in rapidly since the letter was shared last week, both officially through communications with representatives of civil society organisations in our respective networks, but also through social media.

The feedback is almost overwhelming and the broad support shows the grave concern in communities around the world for the potential harmful consequences for health and development that lie in partnering with the alcohol industry,” said co-signatories.

Joint Open Letter: Concern Regarding Global Fund Partnering With Heineken

Grave concern about alcohol industry conduct in Africa

A spokesperson for three Alcohol Policy Alliances covering West, East and Southern Africa said:

We are concerned about alcohol industry conduct in our countries and regions; as they try to hook our people to their products, they also try and pre-empt or undermine effective public health regulations of alcohol. This partnership is just another example of false philanthropy that doesn’t benefit the African people.”

Alcohol use and associated harm has been increasing in recent years in Africa, counter to health and development targets committed to by governments pursuing a global reduction in alcohol use. Alcohol companies have made no secret of strategic growth plans to take advantage of Africa as an emerging market for business growth.

 

Governments saying no

Norway was first to announce it will not support the partnership of the Global Fund with beer giant Heineken. The Norwegian member of the Global Fund Board, Jon Lomøy, said:

Norwegian authorities cannot support this type of partnership with an alcohol company. This goes against our development assistance policy but it is too early to say what will happen with Norway’s donation to the Global Fund, if they continue this collaboration.”

Norway is one of the biggest donors to the Global Fund, investing close $100 million annually.

Another major donor of the Global Fund has now added to Norway’s stance. Sweden announced yesterday, through Twitter, that they support Norway and that they will provide a more detailed answer in the coming days.

First was Ms Ulrika Modéer, State Secretary for Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announcing the Swedish position.

Later, Anders Nordström, Sweden’s Ambassador for Global Health, added to the Swedish position with his tweet:

Optimism about engagement with Global Fund

The signatories of the original letter are optimistic about engaging in constructive dialogue with the Global Fund in the near future. A meeting has been scheduled. The signatories say:

We share a common vision – sustainable human development, with a particular focus on health and well-being for all. Partnerships like this are at odds with that common vision because they put profits over people and prioritise the promotion of brands whose products, marketing and other business practices are causing tremendous harm, including health, economy, society and development. ”

Endorsements

(as of February 20, 2018)

  1. ACT Health Promotion, Brazil
  2. Actis – Norwegian Policy Network on Alcohol and Drugs
  3. Alcohol Action New Zealand
  4. Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC), Sri Lanka
  5. Alcohol Focus Scotland
  6. Alcohol Healthwatch, New Zealand
  7. Alcohol Justice, USA
  8. Alcohol Policy Network in Europe (APN)
  9. Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN), Europe
  10. AV-OG-TIL (Campaign network for alcohol free zones), Norway
  11. Blue Cross International
  12. Blue Cross Norway
  13. Blue Cross in Tchad
  14. Bolivian Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (REDBOL)
  15. Civil Society Network on Substance and Drug Abuse (csnETsda), Nigeria
  16. Center for Youth Eduction (CEM), Bosnia and Herzegovina
  17. Council of Churches in Namibia
  18. DiGNIDAD Coalition, Philippines
  19. Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy (STAP), Netherlands
  20. Drug Policy and Harm Reduction Platform, Malawi
  21. East African Alcohol Policy Alliance
  22. Emonyo Yefwe International, Kenya
  23. European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)
  24. European Center for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing (EUCAM)
  25. European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
  26. Estonian Temperance Union (AVE)
  27. FORUT, Germany
  28. FORUT, Norway
  29. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), Australia
  30. Framework Convention on Global Health Alliance  (FCGH), Switzerland
  31. Ghana NCD Alliance
  32. Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), Liberia
  33. Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY), India
  34. Healthy Caribbean Coalition
  35. Healthy Lanka Alliance for Development, Sri Lanka
  36. Healthy Latin American Coalition (CLAS, Coalición Latinoamérica Saludable)
  37. Interamerican Heart Foundation
  38. International Pediatric Association
  39. Institute for Alcohol Studies, UK
  40. Institute for Research and Development (UTRIP), Slovenia
  41. Institute of Leadership and Development (INSLA), Ghana
  42. IOGT Gambia
  43. IOGT Germany
  44. IOGT movement, Iceland
  45. IOGT Norway
  46. IOGT-NTO Movement, Sweden
  47. IOGT Poland
  48. Kawempe Youth Development Association (KYDA), Uganda
  49. League Against Intoxicants, Norway
  50. Lithuanian Tobacco and Alcohol Control Coalition (NTAKK)
  51. Milestones Rehabilitation Foundation, Nigeria
  52. National Council Against Smoking, South Africa
  53. NCD Alliance, Malawi
  54. NCD Alliance Lanka, Sri Lanka
  55. NCD Child
  56. New Dawn, Zambia
  57. Nepal NCD Alliance
  58. Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network (NordAN), Northern Europe
  59. Norwegian Cancer Society
  60. Ohaha Family Foundation, Nigeria
  61. People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance (PADDI), Nigeria
  62. Safe Sociable London Partnership, UK
  63. Students’ Campaign Against Drugs (SCAD), Kenya
  64. Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control
  65. South African NCD Alliance
  66. Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance- Zambia
  67. Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance
  68. Stop Drink Network, Thailand
  69. Sri Lanka Alcohol Policy Alliance
  70. Teamcoby, Nigeria
  71. The Cancer Association of South Africa
  72. Salvation Army, Norway Iceland and The Faeroes
  73. The Wellbeing Initiative, Nigeria
  74. UDK Consultancy, Malawi
  75. UK Health Forum, United Kingdom
  76. United States Alcohol Policy Alliance
  77. Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
  78. Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), Ghana
  79. Vital Strategies
  80. WEMOS, Netherlands
  81. West African Alcohol Policy Alliance
  82. Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce, Australia
  83. WomanHealth Philippines
  84. World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF International)
  85. World Stroke Organization
  86. World Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU)
  87. Women’s Coalition Against Cancer (WOCACA), Malawi
  88. Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN)
  89. Zambia NCD Alliance

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Source Website: IOGT International