Category Archives: Health

Girl be Heard Perform at the Graduate Institute in Geneva

Opening Remarks by Ambassador Hamamoto at Girl Be Heard Performance

The Graduate Institute, Geneva
Thursday, November 19, 2015

Good evening!  Wow, what a great turnout!  Thank you all for coming to this special performance by the New York theater group Girl Be Heard!

A big thank you to our host, the Graduate Institute, and of course, to our performers.

Their ambition is simple yet powerful.  It is to empower young women to become brave, confident, and socially conscious leaders.

They have the ambition and the vision to create a world for young women to find strength, to realize their potential, and to rise above their circumstances and society’s expectations of them.

This is exactly what we at the U.S. Mission envisioned earlier this year when we launched a new, cross-cutting initiative called The Future She Deserves creating such a world.

And having you all here tonight is exactly what we envisioned when we started thinking about how through this initiative we could use what makes Geneva unique – its unique collection of diplomats, policy makers, specialists, business leaders, research institutes, and civil society – how to use what makes Geneva unique to foster innovative ways of collaborating that would unleash new opportunities for women and girls around the world.

That’s why we’re all here tonight.  For all the women who continue to face discrimination simply because of their gender.

And I’m happy to report that this International Geneva community is really coming together around these important gender issues.

In fact, inspired by the Future She Deserves, and in partnership with the US Mission, UNOG and Women@TheTable, just last month, almost 70 ambassadors and heads of international organizations signed on as Geneva Gender Champions, a new leadership network committed to promoting gender equality.

And already, these inaugural Gender Champions are driving real change in the way we engage on issues and in the support we provide to women in our organizations.

Maya Angelou — a famous civil rights activist and one of America’s most acclaimed poets – used to say that people will sometimes forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

I can guarantee that these young women will make you feel their vulnerabilities, the challenges they face, and even their despair.

But you will also feel their hope and dreams, their resilience and optimism, their energy and their power.

They’ve come together for different reasons and from different backgrounds.  And they represent different cultures, even if they are all uniquely American.

These young women are here to give a voice to all the women who too often are reduced to silence.

They are here to inspire us to break down barriers, to force us out of our comfort zone,to challenge us to re-double our efforts, and to motivate us to find solutions.

So sit back and listen closely, because these girls deserve to be heard!

Thank you and enjoy the performance!

Resolve Awards Recognize Progress Toward Universal Access to Reproductive Health

GENEVA POLICY DIALOGUE SERIES ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

2015 RESOLVE AWARD CEREMONY

Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto

Permanent Representative of the United States of America
to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva

Opening Remarks

 Good evening. I’d like to welcome you all to the U.S. Mission and thank you for attending this important event tonight.

I would also like to thank the Aspen Institute, and especially Peggy Clark, for organizing this event and for her leadership in international family planning and reproductive health.

It is an honor to be here to celebrate the progress Senegal, the Philippines, and Uruguay have made to improve access to reproductive health.

As we approach the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is vital that we maintain robust commitment and action for reproductive health as the SDGs move forward.

Family planning is important because it saves lives, improves health, and empowers women.  A USAID analysis found that by preventing closely spaced births, family planning could prevent up to 30 percent of maternal deaths and 25 percent of child deaths each year.

As the countries we are honoring today have shown, investing in people is not only the right thing to do, it also makes for a more prosperous nation.   Increasing access to family planning and reproductive health is a gateway to achieving a host of sustainable development goals and plays a catalytic role in advancing economic development.

Family planning can reduce the economic burden on poor families and allow women more time to work outside the home, which leads to increased family income. And with more income, families can invest in health care, more nutritious food, and better education for each child.  Families can also invest in their own livelihoods, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty.

For nations, a larger workforce with fewer children to support translates into increased savings on health care and other social services, increased investments in each child, increased output and productivity.  This demographic dividend can raise GDP by as much as two percent per year for many years. Many countries have done so in the past.  African countries — if they act now to implement programs that support women’s and couples’ desire to plan and space their pregnancies, and to enact supportive education and labor policies with attention to equity — can set themselves on a similar course.

225 million women want to delay or avoid pregnancy but are not using modern methods of contraception.

No one sector can solve this problem alone.  This is why partnerships with the public and private sectors, donors and civil society are essential.

I’m particularly proud of a new initiative recently launched by the U.S. Mission called The Future She Deserves – because it is built around this recognized need to build partnerships and work collaboratively in order to really drive results. The fundamental goal of The Future She Deserves is to leverage this unique platform of Geneva-based institutional mechanisms and multilateral fora to protect and empower women and girls, thereby enhancing their ability to fulfill their promise, both as individuals and as equal members of society.

In the health context, it is difficult for young people to fulfill their promise due to the many obstacles they encounter to using available health services: lack of knowledge about sexuality and reproductive health, lack of access to services because of location, cost, hours of service, unfriendly and judgmental providers, communities that are not supportive of young people’s sexuality and use of services, and unequal gender norms.

The consequences of this are severe. 16 million girls aged 15-19 and 2 million girls under the age of 15 give birth each year. Girls aged 10-14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than women aged 20-24, and young women aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die.  And children born to adolescent mothers are much less likely to make it to their fifth birthday.

One of The Future She Deserves’ key priorities is to ensure adolescent girls have access to the full range of appropriate health services, and it is for this reason that we are so excited to host this event tonight, as it directly supports our initiative, and our goal of recognizing innovations and scalable interventions that will significantly improve lives.

 

 

Adolescent Girls Health: Approaches to Ensuring the Future She Deserves

Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto remarks at the opening of the side event on Adolescent Girls’ Health: Approaches to Ensuring the Future She Deserves 

World Health Assembly 68
Geneva,
May 20, 2015

Dear esteemed colleagues and friends, welcome and thank you for coming to our side event on adolescent girls health.  The United States, along with Brazil, Chile, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, The WHO secretariat, UNFPA and UNAIDS is excited to be having this important conversation during the World health Assembly.

Adolescent health, and in particular that of girls, is an issue that is close to my heart as one of my priorities is to consistently highlight the female dimension in the global challenges we face.  This was one of the key drivers behind the U.S. Mission’s new initiative – The Future She Deserves – which among other things, aims to engage the Geneva community around new ways to work together to ensure adolescent girls have access to the full range of appropriate health services. We must provide strategies that are developmentally appropriate for addressing the various stages of adolescent development (i.e., early, mid, and late).   We also need to encourage a multi-sectoral approach, and engagement with all stakeholders, in order to develop policies and programs that help create a supportive environment for adolescent health, safety, and well-being.

As the WHO has described it, adolescence is our second chance to get it right in the second decade of life. Adolescence is the time of life where patterns for health over the life course are set, so we need to be there, with the right approach, in the right places and at the right time.  We will hear from some of the adolescents working on the front lines today – a youth advocate from Australia working on mental health issues and from Mexico working on both preventing gender-based violence and assisting young victims of gender-based violence.

I am pleased to report that since many of us met in January during the WHO Executive Board and discussed the work being done by the secretariat developing a framework for accelerated action on adolescent health issues, much has happened. Discussion on the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health has been underway, and we will hear some of the early results from our panel today.

During our panel discussion today, we will take a quick look back to better understand how far we have come — with Kate Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director at the United Nations Population Fund, and Marleen Temmerman, Director for Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization.

We will then hear from some early innovators about the programs they have put in place in their own countries and regions to deliver appropriate health services to girls.  Matilde Maddaleno Herrera is here from Chile and is in the throes of operationalizing their integrated program for adolescent health; Mr. C.K. Mishra, from India, will discuss India’s multi-sectoral work helping adolescent girls develop an increased awareness of their own sexual and reproductive health issues, and ensuring access to services, preventing violence, and staying in school. And Dr. Lumena Furtado is here from Brazil to present Brazil’s ongoing work program approach in addressing the health needs of adolescent girls.

From the United States, Dawn O’Connell will discuss several innovative approaches we have taken to tackle an issue that had bedeviled us for decades:  teen pregnancy.  The Minister of Health from Tanzania, Mr. Seif Rashidi is with us today to present examples of scaling up quality adolescent-friendly health services and how to best support adolescents getting the sexual and reproductive health services they need, and importantly, ensuring this support is delivered in a friendly and non-judgmental manner.  The Minister of Health and Childcare, Dr. P.D. Parirenyatwa, is here from Zimbabwe to share some of the innovative funding mechanisms they have created to ensure the health needs of adolescents are met.  We will close this section with remarks from William Yeung, a youth advocate for mental health services in Australia, who is doing great work with people his own age in raising awareness more broadly.

Finally, we will discuss the way forward. Tim Shand from Promundo, is doing innovative work engaging men and boys as allies in women’s and children’s health issues.  As I mentioned earlier, Cecilia Garcia Ruiz, a youth leader from “Women We Deliver,” will discuss her work with “Espolea” in Mexico to prevent gender-based violence.  And Dr Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, will tell us about UNAIDS’ “ALL IN” initiative to reduce new infections by at least 75% by 2020 and to reduce AIDS-related deaths among adolescents by 65%.

I look forward to hearing all about the innovative and collaborative work being done by these impressive panelists, and hope that through these discussions we can further identify critical gaps that still exist and what we can do collectively to provide better, more complete health services to adolescent girls around the world.

Adolescent Girls’ Health: Approaches to Ensuring the Future She Deserves

A Special Side Event at the 68th World Health Assembly

Co-sponsored by Brazil, Chile, India, Kenya, Tanzania, the United States of America, Zimbabwe in collaboration with the WHO’s focal point on adolescent health and development in the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Wednesday May 20, 2015; Room VII, 12:15-13:45

The health issues faced by adolescents are central to every major current challenge in global health, HIV/AIDS, road traffic injuries, sexual and reproductive health, non-communicable diseases, interpersonal violence, and mental health.

Context

A second chance in the second decade is how the World Health Organization described our window of opportunity to address the health needs of children during their adolescence. The conclusion that the important and specific needs of adolescents’ health had been too long neglected is echoed in many fora with reports and new research at; UNESCO, the world Bank, UNICEF and UNFPA, Lancet has established a commission to specifically address issues surrounding adolescent health and WHO regional offices are developing regional strategies. Our most recent WHO Executive Board called for accelerated action in developing the framework on Adolescent health. Attention to adolescents is highlighted in the update to Global Strategy on Women, Children and Adolescents Health and acknowledged in discussion on the post 2015 sustainable development goals at the UN General Assembly this fall.

Recent data shows that appropriate health care for adolescent girls is often not available. The lack of services has serious negative repercussions on adolescent girls realizing their rights and becoming healthy productive women and leaders. Boys are part of the solution and also need to have their specific health needs met and addressed.

Global health research shows and is continuing to show that healthy adolescent girls grow into women who are drivers of development, economic growth and stability for their families and communities.

WHO data shows that the leading causes of death among adolescents aged 10 to 19 years globally for girls and boys combined in 2012 were road traffic injuries, HIV/AIDS, self-harm; lower respiratory infections and interpersonal violence. As a global community we have had solid success in reducing maternal deaths and deaths from measles but numbers are showing that deaths due to HIV/AIDS are rising among adolescents. The WHO announced this year that AIDS has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. While new infections among adolescents are declining, there are twice as many new infections as AIDS deaths. In 2013, over 80 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in the hardest hit countries occurred in girls. Globally 15 percent of women living with HIV/AIDS are aged 15 to 24, with 80 % living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Further data show some regional and cause specific mortality data point to further areas of focus. One in every five deaths among adolescents in high-income countries is due to road traffic injuries. One in every six deaths among adolescent girls in the South-East Asia regions is due to suicide. Pregnancy and childbirth among adolescent girls has declined and this decline is particularly noticeable in the regions where maternal mortality rates are highest. The South East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean and African regions have seen declines of 57%, 50%, and 37%, respectively. Despite these improvements, maternal mortality ranks second among causes of death of 15–19-yearold girls globally, exceeded only by suicide. Behavioral and morbidity data allow assessment of the many non-fatal diseases and conditions that develop during adolescence, which not only have implications for service provision today but often have repercussions in adulthood, particularly in the area of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) mainly cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma), and diabetes. Focusing on the prevention of tobacco and alcohol use and the promotion of physical activity and healthy diet among adolescents is an essential component of the adolescent health agenda.

Objectives

This side event aims at building momentum and stimulating dialogue amongst all of us and proposes to go beyond often polarizing politics to offer examples of interventions that are effectively addressing the specific health needs of adolescent girls.

 

 

 

“In 2015, in too many countries, women’s empowerment remains a pipedream- little more than a rhetorical flourish added to a politician’s speech…”

Dr. Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director General Family, Women’s and Children’s Health

Press Release: Launch of The Future She Deserves Initiative

U.S. Mission Launches The Future She Deserves

Thursday, 5 February 2015 – The U.S. Mission to the United Nations launched The Future She Deserves – an initiative to leverage Geneva-based institutional mechanisms and multilateral fora so that women and girls have the opportunities they deserve to fulfill their promise, both as individuals and as members of society.  The event was attended by some 200 invited guests, including diplomats, UN officials, NGO activists, journalists, and academics.

The brainchild of Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, The Future She Deserves is a ‘call to action’ to seize Geneva’s unique multilateral advantage to protect vulnerable populations and unleash opportunities for women and girls.

“I believe we have a critical role to play here in Geneva.  In fact we don’t just have a role, we have a responsibility. Ambassador Hamamoto said.  “Let’s stop doing ‘business as usual’ when we know we can do better. “

The Future She Deserves initiative is grounded in the belief that progress in achieving economic, social, and political equality between men and women can more effectively be realized by building alliances across sectors and implementing strategic cooperation, here, among the institutions of International Geneva; improving accountability to ensure their efforts are effective and sustainable; being proactive on reducing adolescent girls’ vulnerabilities; and harnessing the capacity of women and girls to take charge of their own lives.

Despite substantial progress made in the past generation, today women  still own only 1% of the world’s wealth, have only a 10% share of global income, and occupy only 14% of leadership positions in the public and private sectors.  In addition, far too many women and girls around the world face violence each and every day. One in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.

The four conceptual and operational pillars of The Future She Deserves are: 1) ensuring adolescent girls’ access to health services, 2) preventing and responding to gender-based violence, 3) empowering women and girls economically, and 4) promoting leadership opportunities.

For further information about The Future She Deserves and its four pillars, please take a look at the web site futureshedeserves.net.

Ambassador Hamamoto: Remarks at the Launch of The Future She Deserves

Launch of The Future She DeservesAmbassador Pamela Hamamoto
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva

Remarks at the Launch of
The Future She Deserves
 

This year, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the First World Conference on Women in Mexico City, and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

In 1975, the First World Conference was convened to unite the international community, as discrimination against women continued to be a persistent problem in much of the world.  Goals were set, and action plans were developed, focusing on full gender equality, full participation of women in development, and increased contribution by women in the strengthening of world peace.

While international efforts over the next 20 years helped to improve women’s conditions, the basic structure of inequality between men and women remained in place. Fortunately, due to a massive outpouring of engagement, the 1995 Beijing conference sparked a renewed global commitment to the empowerment of women, and the re-evaluation of the entire structure of society.

Fast forward again.  We’ve made real progress over the past twenty years, and many of you here are responsible for that progress.  Women are better represented in parliaments and boardrooms around the world.  More girls are enrolled in primary and secondary school than ever before. The range of health services available to women has increased substantially. The international community has combined its resources – largely through UN agencies – to support countless innovative approaches to supporting women and girls around the world.

In 2000, the UN Security Council passed a landmark Resolution on Women, Peace and Security.   Ten years later, UN Women was created.  Last year, it launched the HeForShe Initiative as a direct call to action for men to support gender equality.

BUT, despite twenty years of progress, women still own only 1% of the world’s wealth, have only a 10% share of global income, and occupy only 14% of leadership positions in the public and private sectors.

In addition, the unfortunate reality is that far too many women and girls around the world still face violence each and every day.  One in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.  One in 20, more than 12 million women, in the EU have been raped.  In the U.S., statistics show that the incidence of rape is equally high and equally shocking…on average, one woman in the United States is sexually assaulted every two minutes.  Stop and think – dozens of lives have been shattered by sexual violence in the U.S. in the short time we have been in this room together.

Adolescent girls in particular face the most serious inequalities and are uniquely at risk to deplorable practices, including child marriage, human trafficking, and female genital mutilation.  Every year, 60 million girls are sexually assaulted at or on their way to school.

I think you will agree…it’s time for another spark.  Let’s commit to igniting that spark.  Right here and right now!.

I have invited you here today to help us launch a new initiative focused on protecting and empowering Women and Girls…it’s called The Future She Deserves.  Women and girls around the world DESERVE better treatment, better opportunities, and a better future.

I believe we have a critical role to play here in Geneva. In fact, we don’t just have a role…we have a responsibility.  Geneva is a unique multilateral arena, where organizations with diverse mandates work in parallel, with similar goals of improving lives and promoting the economic and social advancement of all people. Time and again, research and experience has shown that holistic, multi-sector responses lead to better outcomes for women and girls, and therefore for their families and for their communities.

We must seize Geneva’s unique multilateral advantage, and push ourselves to think innovatively – to envision creative ways for collaboration that will unleash new opportunities for women and girls, and new means of protecting these especially vulnerable populations.

I know this concept isn’t groundbreaking. Last year, I attended the Third WMO Gender Conference – which brought together experts from WMO, WHO, UN Women, UNESCO and UNFCCC – to address the “Gender Dimension of Weather and Climate Services” with the tagline “The Benefits of Working Together.”  Well, I believe these benefits are many, and this type of collaboration will be at the heart of The Future She Deserves.

For example:

Why not bring the ILO, ITU, CERN and UNCTAD together to truly break down the barriers that cause women and girls to remain terribly underrepresented in STEM education and in science and technology fields?

Or why not bring together UNHCR, ITU and the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers or Forum of Young Global Leaders to put a cell phone in the hands of millions of women refugees, so that they have better access to much needed social and financial services?

These are just two ideas, but if we put our minds to it, the possibilities for cross-cutting collaboration are endless.

Over the past few months, we hosted a series of consultations with diplomatic and international partners, in fact we spoke with many of you, to better understand current initiatives, gaps and opportunities for engagement across different sectors and entities.  These discussions identified four key areas where we believe we can have a significant positive impact.  Our four pillars are:

  • To ensure adolescent girls have access to the full range of appropriate health services.  With the far-reaching work of UNAIDS and WHO, and because the World Health Assembly brings together hundreds of health ministry officials from around the world, we have an opportunity to change the nature of care for girls at local and global levels.
  • To enhance opportunities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence against women and girls.  Ending violence against women is everyone’s responsibility, not just the gender experts.  In our multilateral work, whenever and wherever we see gender-based violence, we all need to do whatever it takes to stop it!  It’s that simple.
  •  To economically empower women and girls, including through improved access to trade and entrepreneurship.  For every marginal dollar a woman earns, she invests 90 cents back into her family.  And when you empower women and girls – through access to education, technology and capital, you unlock the full potential of entire societies.
  • To develop and promote gender-equal leadership opportunities, including gender parity within the UN.  Organizations need to overhaul strategies and policies for recruitment, promotion, and retention to better meet the needs of women and families.  Women need more opportunities to build networks and greater access to female leaders who can serve as mentors and role models.

You will have the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of these pillars at each of the four stations in the room.

But first, now that you have a better basic understanding of The Future She Deserves, I’d like to make a personal Call to Action:  As I’ve mentioned, Geneva presents a unique platform – leading international organizations, an engaged diplomatic community, technical expertise, scientific data, an active NGO community – all of which we intend to capitalize on.  Let’s stop doing “business as usual” when we know we can do better.  This initiative is meant to provide the platform, to expand on existing programs and relationships, so that we all can engage on a higher level.  Our goals are aspirational and actionable, and we will be focusing on measurable results throughout the year. But for this initiative to truly succeed, we need you to share your innovative ideas with us, we need you to help us identify partnership opportunities, to reach back to your capitals, to reach out to your networks, to commit your organizations, but most importantly, to make a personal commitment – that you will do whatever you can to help each and every woman and girl achieve The Future She Deserves.

As I look out across the room I am pleased to see several men – such as DG Swing (IOM), Secretary General Sy (IFRC),  and so many of my male Ambassador colleagues, and of course my own DCM Peter Mulrean – who have made strong personal commitments to be champions for the rights, equality, protection and empowerment of women and girls in the work they do.  Because without a doubt, we need the commitment of both men and women in order to succeed in this endeavor. So thank you, gentlemen, for being here today and for your ongoing support.

Recognizing that one or more of the four pillars I outlined may be of particular interest to you, we have arranged the room so that conversations can be grouped by theme. Please grab another drink, then I encourage you to visit the various tables – identified by their colorful banners – to speak with our experts about specific objectives and to learn more about the events we have planned and how you can engage most effectively.

Gender equality, gender gaps, gender parity, gender lens, gender mainstreaming….isn’t it time “gender” stops being a side event?  Isn’t it time every woman and every girl has the opportunity to follow a clear path to The Future She Deserves?  With your commitment, together, we can make that Future a reality.

Strengthening Health System Response to Violence Against Women

Intl. Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto participated in a World Health Organization sponsored dialogue on how health systems can be strengthened to respond to the needs of women and girls who have been subjected to violence and what we can do to accelerate efforts towards ending violence against women.

 

Text of the Ambassador’s remarks: geneva.usmission.gov/2014/11/25/addressing-the-global-cha…

 

PEPFAR, Gates Foundation and Nike Foundation Partner to Reduce New HIV Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Nike Foundation Partner on $210 Million Initiative to Reduce New HIV Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women

On World AIDS Day, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation launched a new initiative to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women.

Adolescent girls are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2013, over 80 percent of new HIV infections among adolescents in the hardest hit countries occurred in girls. Every year, an astonishing 380,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV.

“Adolescent girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection and prevention efforts to date have not had the impact we need,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. “Almost 60 percent of all new HIV infections among young people aged 15–24 occurred among adolescent girls and young women. We also know that in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are more likely than their male counterparts to be living with HIV. The time to act is now, and the PEPFAR, Gates Foundation, Nike Foundation partnership will play a pivotal role in scaling up effective interventions that will save lives.”

The partnership will provide a core package of evidence-based interventions that have successfully addressed HIV risk behaviors, HIV transmission, and gender-based violence. Evidence shows that girls can reach their full potential when they have access to multiple interventions, and when girls are perceived as capable and full of potential—by girls themselves and in the communities where they live. This DREAMS partnership aims to ensure that girls have an opportunity to live Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe lives.

“A girl may be in school, but HIV, child marriage, or economic shock to her family could prevent her from continuing. We need to understand, and measure, how to better address these and other interlocking threats to her success,” said Maria Eitel, President and CEO of the Nike Foundation. This bold initiative, will combine interventions that when delivered together, in addition to challenging and changing perceptions and norms, will transform a girl’s life and accelerate efforts to achieve an AIDS-free future for girls.”

The combination intervention approach for reaching adolescent girls and young women has the potential to advance multiple health and development goals including dramatically reducing HIV incidence. The emphasis on evidence and results, in addition to the close alignment with PEPFAR’s objectives, positions this partnership for significant impact on the lives of adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The world has made huge progress on HIV, but we have to find better ways to accelerate efforts for adolescent girls and young women—who are twice as likely to be infected in some countries,” said Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We’ve made a commitment at the Gates Foundation to address this inequality. This partnership will advance our shared goal of getting life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services to the women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa who need them most.”

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About PEPFAR

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information about PEPFAR, visit www.PEPFAR.gov, www.twitter.com/PEPFAR, or www.facebook.com/PEPFAR.