On November 24, 2010, I joined the Honorable Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane and the Honorable Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao to sign the Government of the Republic of Zambia and United States Government Partnership Framework for HIV and AIDS. The Partnership Framework represents joint collaboration to achieve Zambia's five-year objective: A nation free from the threat of HIV and AIDS. The signing of the Partnership Framework is the culmination of two years of work. The Partnership Framework outlines national priorities and roles and responsibilities in the fight.
With 14.3 percent of the Zambian population aged 15-49 years infected with HIV, Zambia has one of the highest prevalence rates in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV and AIDS represent one of the greatest threats to sustainable human development in Zambia, undermining national capacity to build productivity and threatening and destroying household livelihoods.
Over the past six years, the U.S. government has contributed approximately $1 billion to Zambia's national HIV and AIDS program. Future funding will enhance prevention, treatment, care and support activities will leverage additional Zambian government investment for addressing HIV and AIDS, as well as additional support from other stakeholders such as the private sector.
The Partnership Framework represents unprecedented collaboration with civil society organizations working in Zambia to combat HIV and AIDS. The Framework is grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect between our governments and between and among our collaborating partners. In the audience were representatives from a range of civil society organizations, including the Churches Health Association of Zambia and the Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign. Our governments, NGOs, the Global Fund, all donors, and the people of Zambia must work together as one if we are to build a nation free from the threat of HIV and AIDS.
With the signing of this Partnership Framework, we are opening a new era in the way we are jointly fighting HIV and AIDS. With this partnership, we are moving from an emergency response to one that will be more sustainable and systemic. And we are supporting a partnership that puts Zambian leadership and Zambian ownership at the center of our joint efforts.