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Convergences World Forum 2013

UNITAID eyes a new way to engage developing countries

By Eliza Villarino15 October 2013

This year marks the seventh anniversary of UNITAID. The global initiative is known for investing funds raised from solidarity airline ticket levies in medicines, diagnostics and prevention methods for HIV and AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world.

UNITAID has so far raised $2 billion, Philippe Duneton, deputy executive director of UNITAID, told Devex on the sidelines of the World Convergences Forum 2013 in Paris, citing the development of pediatric formulations for the three diseases as an achievement of the partnership.

“Nobody has ever invested in that,” Duneton said. “And when we started seven years ago, no medicine was basically designed to be used for the children in Africa or in developing countries. So we have changed that with our work with the Clinton Foundation and we have supported access to treatments and detection the same as applied diagnostic for more than 400,000 children, and we are working now with the NDI [Neglected Diseases Initiative] to redesign a new formulation for kids.”

Moving forward, UNITAID is looking to expand its membership and “explain better what we are doing.” It also hopes to change the way it engages beneficiary countries. How? Watch the above video to learn more.

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About the author

Eliza villarino 400x400
Eliza Villarino

Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.


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