Pope Francis and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on November 18, 2019, acknowledged their mutual desire to improve the health and wellbeing of communities in need.
The mutual support came in a joint declaration during the Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi. The declaration was signed on behalf of the Holy Father by Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio to the UAE.
Reaching the Last Mile Our nurtures long term commitments, focusing on areas that can have maximum impact, prompt others to act, or chart a new path. To catalyze faster change, the approach across the portfolio incorporates active partnership, innovative financing, and the development of new areas of expertise.
According to the organization, the Crown Prince is committed to ending preventable diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities and helping millions of children and adults live healthy, dignified lives.
“The humanitarian community, more than ever before, needs to join the efforts to tackle diseases and epidemics and find solutions to all the challenges that prevent people from accessing healthcare when they need it. This is a humanitarian mission for the whole world,” the Crown Prince said.
Following it the joint declaration
On the occasion of the Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi, we reaffirm our mutual cooperation towards the improvement of the health and wellbeing of communities in need.
This cooperation stems from a belief that every person, no matter their background, has the right to live a dignified and healthy life.
The context in which these pathologies often arise is the poverty and social vulnerability of the most marginalized members of society. We therefore call for renewed efforts – including comprehensive political action and willing cooperation between civil society and individual States, which have a responsibility for the health of their own citizens – to promote sanitary, social and educational programmes and to develop adequate medical networks of prevention, diagnosis and treatment, so that no one remains left behind.
We also make an appeal to the international community to collaborate to reach the most vulnerable populations and focus attention on diseases that afflict the most impoverished people.
One such area of focus is the fight to end Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which affect more than 1.5 billion of the world’s population. Despite programs launched at the international level and improved access to treatments, NTDs remain a second priority on the global agenda.
Faced with diseases that today can be monitored, prevented and eliminated, there is a need for greater efforts on the parts of all to coordinate available resources in order to achieve adequate solutions. This will also demand an interdisciplinary, socio-medical and environmental approach.
Guaranteeing the right to treatment for all people is paramount. We therefore fully support the Reaching the Last Mile Fund and its work in treating and monitoring of NTDs, and in the future will continue to collaborate on other global health initiatives.
Finally, we trust in the solidarity of all people who understand the sufferings of those in situations of great need in neglected and disadvantaged parts of the world, so that this needless scourge afflicting humanity may be eradicated once and for all.
Abu Dhabi, 18th November 2019
On behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis
His Grace Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio to the UAE
On behalf of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed
His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei
Undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi