Caribbean nations to benefit from U.S. AIDS plan

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Seven Caribbean countries will benefit from a US$100 million financial package, designed to undertake HIV/AIDS projects.

The signing of U.S. President Barack Obama’s five-year strategic framework took place at the residence of Dr. Brent Hardt, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines signed the agreement.

The main areas of focus of the agreement are: HIV/AIDS prevention, laboratory strengthening, human capacity development, sustainability and strategic information/data gathering and analysis.

Grenada’s Health Minister Ann Peters said the overall project goal is to reduce the incidents and prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region. “It’s also to build the capacity of national governments to develop and maintain sustainable, comprehensive and effective national HIV/AIDS programs,” she said.

Funds for project implementation will be made available in June.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, also known as PEPFAR, is America’s initiative to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. In his State of the Union Address in January 2003, then President George W. Bush made a commitment to substantially increase U.S. support for addressing HIV/AIDS worldwide.


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