New York, US (PANA) - The United States and South Africa Tuesday signed a Partnership Framework that will guide future efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony in Washington DC by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane.
According to a US State Department release, the Partnership Framework under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) provides a five-year joint strategic plan of cooperation among the Government of South Africa, the U.S. Government and other stakeholders.
''We are here at a moment when South Africa is turning the tide against HIV/AIDS. It is exciting to see, and we are already reviewing surveys being done by the South African Government as the minister will, I’m sure, mention that shows HIV among youth is falling. We want to do everything we can to be a good partner,'' Clinton said.
On her part, Minister Mashabane said: ''We are working together to reinvigorate the very, very strong and very important bilateral ties that looks at our bilateral relationship, elevated to another level through the strategic partnership and strategic dialogue that we have solidified by signing, I hope – in this room last – this year in April.''
The Framework supports the goals of South Africa’s national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS, while also contributing to PEPFAR’s global goals for prevention, care and treatment.
The Framework emphasizes sustainability, local expertise, coordination and accountability in the fight against AIDS.
The PEPFAR Framework will build on existing U.S. support for South Africa’s efforts to provide HIV prevention, treatment and care for
millions of people in the country.
In 2010 alone, PEPFAR funds have supported treatment for nearly 920,000 adults and children in South Africa, while more than five million South Africans have been tested for HIV and received HIV counseling with U.S. support.
President Barack Obama has made the fight against AIDS a cornerstone of his Global Health Initiative.
A key principle of the Initiative is support for country ownership, and through the Partnership Framework, the United States will support South Africa in building the capacity to sustain its progress on HIV/AIDS for the long term.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 15Dec2010