Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Ethiopia has secured a US$30 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) for a project aimed at increasing access to HIV/AIDS preventative services for most groups at risk of contracting the disease, the World Bank announced Friday.
In addition to supporting HIV/AIDS prevention activities targeting the youth, particularly young women aged 15-24, the Second Multi-Sectoral HIV/AIDS Project (EMSAP II) will focus on at-risk groups in hotspots in rural and peri-urban areas such as market towns.
"By targeting groups of people who tend to show higher HIV prevalence rates, the project attempts to slow the spread of the virus, particularly with respect to urban-rural transmission," said Gebreselassie Okubagzhi, the World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
The grant would thus help to sustain HIV/AIDS control efforts begun under Ethiopia's first multi-sector AIDS programme.
According to the World Bank, the project would align federal and regional institutional structures, with an emphasis on transparency and accountability among organizations that carry out specific projects under the grant.
"The programme will address capacity-building needs, not only gaps in skills but also shortcomings in institutions and systems," the Bank said.
By using the public sector to target high-risk and vulnerable groups, EMASP II aims to help citizens better understand how to avoid contracting or transmitting the AIDS virus, as well as to help foster behaviour change.
The grant will fund projects in peer education, condom distribution, and communications activities that target behavioural change and discourage traditional practices that increase risks.
Also, specific attention will be paid to integration of HIV/AIDS in reproductive health programmes while several intervention and mitigation activities are developed to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention methods at the community level.