Britain funds partnership against AIDS in Africa

Paris- France (PANA) -- The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), in consultation with the joint UNAIDS programme on HIV-AIDS, Thursday awarded a contract worth more than 23 million pounds to Action Aid in support of the international partnership against Aids in Africa.
Action Aid, a UK-based non-governmental organisation, won the bid based on a partnership with Futures Group of Europe and a consortium of expert African organizations, including the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF).
Other AIDS networks in the partnership with Action Aid include the African Council of AIDS Services Organizations, the HEARD academic group of the University of Natal and the Nairobi- based regional AIDS training network.
In a statement, UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot described Britain's contribution as an important initiative which would make an important difference as countries selected to benefit from the support had serious AIDS epidemics.
Britain's support would help strengthen the capacity of governments, in particular national AIDS commissions, to coordinate the inputs of all partners in the fight against AIDS.
UNAIDS indicated that the support would further boost ongoing assistance in Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and focus on building management capacity at both national and community levels.
Country specific activities such as education programmes for truck drivers and sex workers or linking HIV-AIDS to debt reduction would also be supported.
A regional support office to be established in Nairobi by Action Aid would provide technical assistance through regional resource networks and seek to expand the number of countries to benefit from the project.
Regional technical assistance will involve monitoring the impact of national AIDS programmes and strengthening their management capacities as well as support behaviour change communication to reduce stigma and discrimination.
Safer sex practices would be encouraged.
According to UNAIDS, the international partnership against AIDS in Africa was working on the principle that actors from all parts of society collaborate under the guidance of African leadership to scale up AIDS related activities.

26 july 2001 17:42:00

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