Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have signed an agreement aimed at developing joint efforts to advance sustainable response to HIV/AIDS, health and development issues on the continent.
The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the just-concluded Congress to mark the 10th anniversary of NEPAD in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will enable both organisations work with other partners to support the development of a common positions for the HIV/AIDS response.
It will also emphasize sustainable financing, address barriers in access to HIV medicines, facilitate policies and partnerships to eliminate new HIV infections in children, improve maternal health, as well as encourage country’s ownership, accountability and South-south cooperation.
“This partnership will bring us one step closer to our goal of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero-related deaths. Getting to zero would demand effective and inclusive partnerships, shared responsibility, greater transparency and a focus on results-areas in which NEPAD is known to excel,” UNAIDS Executive Secretary, Michael Sidibe, told journalists during the signing ceremony.
Sub-Saharan Africa carries the highest HIV burden of any region globally. According to UNAIDS, in 2010, about 68% of all people living with HIV reside in the region, which has only 12% of world population.
But the Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, expressed the belief that with the partnership, greater improvement will be recorded in changing the situation.
“Partnerships for development can only succeed if they are led by developing countries. AIDS programmes must be financially sustainable over the long term and tailored to specific national settings,” he said.
About two-thirds of All AIDS investments in Africa currently come from external sources.
UNAIDS estimates that Africa will require between US$11 and US$12 billion for its regional AIDS response by 2015, which is US$3-4 billion more than the current expenditure.
-0- PANA SB/SEG 30Mar2012