LONDON, June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Anglo American today pledged $3 million to the UK Government led matching initiative for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) - a public/private partnership dramatically increasing access to immunisation in the world's poorest countries.
Anglo American is the first UK plc to participate in the GAVI Matching Fund for Immunisation, launched today by the International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell and the Chancellor, George Osborne. The UK Government has also committed to matching funds raised from Anglo American employees and suppliers as part of the initiative.
Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive of Anglo American, commented:
"Anglo American is delighted to announce its commitment of $1 million a year for three years to the UK Government led Matching Fund initiative for GAVI. We hope that our action will encourage a similar level of support for GAVI from other large companies in the UK and around the world. We are also actively encouraging our employees and suppliers to participate in this important initiative.
"With approximately 95% of our operations in developing countries, Anglo American has a deep appreciation of the vital role health plays in ensuring human development and promoting economic growth."
Anglo American strongly believes that a collective and innovative response is required from business in order to have a meaningful impact on improving access to healthcare in developing countries. At the G20 Business Summit in Seoul in November 2010, Anglo American announced a $3 million pledge over three years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund) and called on businesses around the world to do the same.
"The scale of the burden of disease in developing countries demands a coordinated response between governments, the private sector and civil society. Anglo American is committed to supporting innovative health financing partnerships like GAVI and the Global Fund, which are tackling these significant healthcare challenges with extraordinary success," Cynthia Carroll said.
Dr Brian Brink, Chief Medical Officer, Anglo American, based in South Africa, commented:
"Since 2000, GAVI funded vaccines have immunised 288 million children and prevented more than 5 million deaths. Global Fund sponsored programs have saved 6.5 million lives and provided access to treatment for more than 3 million AIDS patients and 7.7 million Tuberculosis patients. Malaria may be eliminated as a public health problem by 2015, largely as a result of Global Fund investments. By supporting both these institutions, Anglo American is a leading business contributor to improving health in countries with the greatest need.
"Despite these remarkable achievements, funding shortfalls remain. We urge the private sector to recognise the importance of investing in health in developing countries; there are significant long-term business benefits in terms of economic growth and development. For Anglo American, improving access to healthcare is an important part of our sustainable development programme, which aims to make a real and lasting difference in the communities where our mines operate."
Notes to editors
Further information about Anglo American's health programmes
- In 2002, Anglo American was the first major employer to begin offering free antiretroviral treatment to all its employees and, in December 2008, Anglo American extended this benefit to employees' direct dependants. This decision was based largely on the understanding that HIV/AIDS cannot be effectively managed when only one family member receives care for a disease that affects the whole family.
- Anglo American's world-leading HIV/AIDS response, providing the largest free HIV and AIDS workplace and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programme, has been held up as best practice by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Anglo American's 2009 international employee HIV/AIDS campaign detailed the company's response in the areas of eliminating the stigma and discrimination related to the disease. The programme also focuses on preventing new infections, the provision of care and confidential support for employees and their dependants infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and managing and mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS on operations. In so doing, Anglo American is making a positive contribution towards minimising the social, economic and developmental consequences of the epidemic.
- Workplace programmes are in place at all Group operations and business units, with activity particularly focused in southern Africa, where HIV prevalence figures are estimated at 18% of the region's workforce.
- In 2011, Anglo American co-sponsored the Frontline Heroes in Health award with Virgin Unite which was presented at GBC Health's 10th Anniversary Conference and Awards. The award recognises leadership in community healthcare and was this year presented to Kgomotso Kwenje and Dr Gilbert Khosa who co-manage the Bhubezi Community Health Centre in South Africa.
- Bhubezi Community Health Centre, located in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, in South Africa, is the result of collaboration between the community, government and business. Supported by USAID / PEPFAR (the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), the South African Department of Health, Ndlovu Care Group, Anglo American and Virgin Unite, Bhubezi Community Health Centre is the first to offer basic and specialised healthcare in the region. Since its establishment in 2007 it has received more than 130,000 patients and provided more than 3,500 HIV positive patients with anti-retroviral treatment.
- Anglo American's recent progress was rewarded by the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the organisation's Business Excellence Awards in June 2009, where the company's Thermal Coal business was recognised as having the best HIV/AIDS workplace programme in the world.
- The GBC Awards are earned by companies that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment, action and results, and have achieved exceptional success in putting their assets to work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
- Anglo American's Thermal Coal business received the top award in the 'Workplace Category' for its holistic approach to HIV/AIDS and was commended by the judges for "its comprehensive, robust and evidence-based approach to managing HIV and AIDS in the workplace; coupled with the outstanding leadership and commitment of the company's management and leadership team."
- Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases is one of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and 2010 represents an important milestone in the progress of this initiative.
About Anglo American
Anglo American plc is one of the world's largest mining companies, is headquartered in the UK and listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Anglo American's portfolio of mining businesses spans precious metals and minerals - in which it is a global leader in both platinum and diamonds; base metals - copper and nickel; and bulk commodities - iron ore, metallurgical coal and thermal coal. Anglo American is committed to the highest standards of safety and responsibility across all its businesses and geographies and to making a sustainable difference in the development of the communities around its operations. The company's mining operations and extensive pipeline of growth projects are located in southern Africa, South America, Australia, North America and Asia. http://www.angloamerican.com
For further information on Anglo American, please contact:
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SOURCE Anglo American Plc