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Chinese entrepreneur to support access to medicines for developing world

HNA Group’s Chen Feng designated UNITAID’s honorary ambassador

Geneva, 29 March 2012 — Mr Chen Feng, Chairman of the HNA group, one of China's best known enterprises, has accepted to become UNITAID's Honorary Ambassador. Mr Chen will lend his voice and position to advocate for greater Chinese support for UNITAID's innovative interventions to improve access to treatment for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. This is one of the first examples of Chinese corporate support to a multilateral organization.

UNITAID is mainly funded by innovative financing mechanisms, including from a small air ticket levy applied by several countries and allocated in part to UNITAID's budget. France, one of the first to introduce the air ticket levy for global health, has widely advocated for other countries to similarly support such an ambitious global health initiative. It was through the France-China Foundation (Fondation France Chine) that Mr Chen became aware of UNITAID's work. The "Fondation France Chine" has played a key role in building the partnership between HNA and UNITAID.

Not only widely credited for bringing innovation and dynamism to the Chinese aviation sector, Mr Chen has committed to support humanity through a wide range of philanthropic and charity activities sponsored by HNA, such as national programmes to combat blindness from cataracts called 'March Toward Brightness'. The HNA Group was twice presented the "China Charity Award", the highest honour for charity in China, by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs. HNA has committed an initial contribution of €600,000 to UNITAID through its charity platform, the Cihang Foundation.

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UNITAID funds testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in developing countries, largely through innovative financing and using a market impact model. In over five years of existence, it has successfully raised and implemented US$ 2 billion in HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria-related projects in 94 countries. In 2009, UNITAID created the Millennium Foundation, a Swiss-based entity responsible for collaboration with private sector.

HNA Group is a conglomerate of integrated services and operations, with its core businesses in air transportation, logistics, tourism, finance, retailing, airport management, property development and catering. The Group has total assets of 260 billion RMB and revenue of 100 billion RMB in 2011. It provided over 120,000 job opportunities and was ranked 129th of "China's top 500 enterprises" in 2011.

 

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