Chinese entrepreneur to support access to medicines for developing world

HNA Group's Chen Feng is designated UNITAID's Honorary Ambassador.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 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 innovativeness 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 highesthonour for charity in China, by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs.  HNA has committed an initial contribution of Euros 600 000 to UNITAID through its charity platform, the Cihang Foundation.

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 existence, it has successfully raised and implemented USD 2 billion in HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria related projects in about 93 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 a total asset 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.

 

Contact: Frédéric Martel, Mob. +41792446005; Email: martelf@unitaid.who.int