A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Annie Lennox applauds ‘extraordinary achievement’
International agency Oxfam today welcomed the prestigious Human Rights Award given to the South African HIV and AIDS organization the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung/ Foundation.
The TAC has been an Oxfam partner in South Africa for several years.
Oxfam ambassador and TAC supporter Annie Lennox said: "I am absolutely delighted that the TAC have been awarded the prestigious FES Human Rights Award 2009 for the extraordinary achievement they have accomplished so far.
“There is so much to be done, but we are making progress. With proper treatment, nutrition, and medical care HIV does not have to be a death sentence. Mothers can live to take care of their children, and those children do not have to end up as orphans. Working together through education we can help to break the cycle of stigma, ignorance and fear.”
Emma Seery, Oxfam’s Health and Education Campaign Manager, said: “The TAC’s work mobilizing thousands in the fight against the HIV and AIDS pandemic has saved lives. We are proud to count the TAC as a partner, and warmly congratulate them on this award.
“Today, International Human Rights Day, is a fitting moment to remind world leaders that HIV and AIDS is a disease fuelled by poverty – and in turn is a major threat to development, devastating family and community efforts to build better lives.
“Nine years ago, 189 governments promised to deliver universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment by 2010. But the New Year is almost here, and of nearly ten million people in developing countries who need treatment, only 3 million are receiving it.
“The TAC is doing their part – world leaders must step up and do theirs.”
TAC website: Campaigning for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS
Annie Lennox : A voice for HIV/AIDS women and children
Notes to editors
In 2006 multi-award winning British musician Annie Lennox teamed up with 23 of the world's most acclaimed female voices to launch her Campaign SING, to raise money and awareness for the TAC.