JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 12 December 2010—The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration on a range of AIDS programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The MoU was signed between IDB Group President Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali and UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé at IDB headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Through this partnership, IDB and UNAIDS will collaborate on maximizing available resources and sharing information on HIV prevention and control measures. The two agencies will also pay special attention to measures aimed at preventing HIV transmission from mother to child. According to UNAIDS estimates, 1.4 million HIV-positive pregnant women live in low- and middle-income countries. In 2009 alone, there were an estimated 370 000 new HIV infections among children worldwide.
At the signing ceremony, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali underlined the emphasis IDB Group has attached to the promotion of health services and the support it has lent to the development of health sector activities and hygiene infrastructure since its inception more than three decades ago.
“Promoting health and eventually human development in IDB member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries around the world constitute a major thrust of the IDB Group’s Vision 2020,” Dr Ali reiterated.
“The Islamic Development Bank’s investment in promoting the global fight against AIDS is welcome at a time when resources for HIV programmes are flat-lining,” said Mr. Michel Sidibé, after signing the memorandum. “Together, we will strive towards slowing down the spread of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.”