December 15, 2010

HIV-funding pact signed with United States

South Africa and the United States have signed a new partnership framework that will guide US funding of HIV and Aids projects in the country. The partnership - under the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, known as PEPFAR - is expected to better channel developmental assistance through the South African government. The framework supports the goals of South Africa's national strategy to fight HIV and Aids, while also contributing to PEPFAR's global goals for prevention, care and treatment. It emphasizes sustainability, local expertise, coordination and accountability in the fight against Aids.

The agreement was signed by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who both hailed the project, saying they hoped it would help in the ongoing fight against the virus. Nkoana-Mashabane said the framework was good news for South Africa. "This partnership is turning the tide back at home. The South African government spends about R6 billion on this programme and your R2.3 billion will go a long way," said the minister.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the partnership had a lot of meaning for both countries."It embodies a new level of corporation which has been made possible because of the tremendous efforts of the South African government," said Clinton.
The PEPFAR Framework will build on existing US support for South Africa's efforts to provide HIV prevention, treatment and care for millions of people in the country.
In 2010, 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 US support. (Bua News)

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