US Pledges K1.2 Trillion towards HIV/AIDS Fight. 25/11/10
US6 million to Zambia’s national HIV and AIDS response for the 2011 fiscal year.
The Post Online
The US government has pledged a total of K1.2 trillion US6 million to Zambia’s national HIV and AIDS response for the 2011 fiscal year.
Ambassador Mark Storella said the funds were meant to strengthen the prevention and treatment activities.
He observed that HIV and AIDS continued to be one of the greatest threats to sustainable human development in Zambia.
“HIV and AIDS are undermining national capacity to build sustainable productivity while at the same time, threatening and destroying household livelihoods,” said Ambassador Storella during the signing of the Partnership Framework for HIV and AIDS between the US and Zambian governments.
However, Ambassador Storella acknowledged that enormous strides had been made to strengthen the prevention of HIV infection and ensure access to quality treatment, care and support.
“The US government will partner with the Zambian government and others to support health systems development, foster greater country ownership of HIV and AIDS programming and identify means to institutionalise and sustain country led responses,” Ambassador Storella said.
And finance minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane observed that the country still had a lot to do to further reduce the HIV infection rate.
He said although significant progress had been achieved, Zambia remained a hyper endemic country, with thousands of people dying of AIDS related illnesses each year.
“The devastating effects of HIV and AIDS run across all economic and social sectors, implying that this is not only a health problem. Deaths due to HIV and AIDS have continued to escalate, affecting the labour force across all economic activities,” said Dr Musokotwane.
Zambia is ranked seventh highest globally among countries with hyper endemic HIV and AIDS levels.