Fight against HIV/AIDS
Finally, among our cooperation projects, our attention should also be particularly drawn to the health sector, namely because of the important challenge of fighting AIDS and of the duty we have to assist the exemplary and comprehensive actions of the Government of Botswana in that field, ranging from prevention to treatment to a successful PMTCT programme.
France has fully committed itself to this fight against AIDS by supporting, first of all, the creation of the Global Fund in 2002, to which it is the second donor (300 million euros in 2007, P2,5 billion).
Secondly, it was one of the drivers of the UNITAID initiative, which was launched in September 2006, and the Board of which is chaired by the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Philippe Douste-Blazy. Through a solidarity levy on air tickets as well as other innovative funding mechanisms, UNITAID enables to substantively reduce the purchase price of medicines. In 2007, France has pledged to contribute 160 million euros (P1,3 billion) to UNITAID. Of course, we hope that Botswana, which already stands to benefit from UNITAID (for more than BWP 12,000,000 in second-line ARVs and paediatric ARVs), will soon join the ever growing group of States which have already adhered to UNITAID.