Press release: UNOPS supports the Stop TB Partnership in celebrating World TB Day

COPENHAGEN – 24 March marks World TB Day, an occasion to mobilize political and social commitment towards eliminating Tuberculosis (TB).

TB is an airborne disease that kills three people around the world every minute. Despite efforts by the international community, each day more than 4,000 die from the disease and approximately 1.5 million every year. TB is a curable disease, but it remains one of the world's top health burdens.

The Stop TB Partnership is leading the way to a world without TB. Since 2001, the Partnership has spearheaded global advocacy efforts in the fight against the disease, in coordination with its 1,200 partners, including many high-level decision makers.

UNOPS began a new hosting arrangement with the Partnership in January of this year, establishing a close working relationship between the two organizations as they fulfil their respective mandates.

UNOPS has been supporting the fight against the disease for several years, working in collaboration with its partners around the world where TB is endemic.

In the first year of this new arrangement, UNOPS is providing a broad range of support services. The organization will also support the Partnership's advocacy efforts by helping to facilitate the engagement of non-health actors and other members of the international community in the lead up to the next Global Plan to Stop TB 2016-2020.

"Since we started hosting the Stop TB Partnership, we have seen a much stronger engagement with the TB community at large, and as an organization, we feel closer to the fight against the disease," said Grete Faremo, United Nations Under Secretary-General Executive Director of UNOPS. "Future work should be done in partnership with a wider range of actors, from both the public and private sectors, and we look forward to bringing our expertise to the table, together with our regional and country colleagues."

This World TB Day will signal a renewed effort to alert Ministers of Health to the global, regional and national TB emergencies, in a move to emphasize the fact that that many cases of TB go undiagnosed and untreated, and therefore uncured. This year's campaign also provides a platform to highlight the urgent need to fill the current funding gap of $ 2 billion per year for TB interventions, and the immediate need of $ 1.39 billion for research and development.

The importance of eliminating access barriers to recommended TB diagnostics and drugs, and addressing TB and drug-resistant TB as global health security threats, will also be highlighted. TB needs to be everyone's concern, and this new hosting arrangement strengthens effective and coordinated action in global efforts to stop the disease.

About the Stop TB Partnership

The Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body within the UN family with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB. It has evolved into a large global coalition of more than 1,200 partners across 100 countries. The Partnership ensures a voice for the TB community at the highest levels. The various grant programs of the Partnership identify and fund innovative approaches to find and treat new TB cases. It plays a key role in procuring TB drugs and diagnostics across the world. Its market-shaping abilities help reduce prices, improve forecasting and prevent stock-outs of drugs. It invests much of its efforts in assisting the largest international donor for TB, The Global Fund to Fight Aids Malaria and TB, which provides over 80% of the external funding for TB worldwide.  

The Stop TB Partnership has been hosted by UNOPS since 1 January 2015.