$100 Million USD donated to Caribbean Partner Countries for HIV/AIDS Relief

There is new hope for the HIV/AIDS community in the Eastern Caribbean. OECS and Barbados Ministers of Health, along with regional partners, put their pens to seal a historic Partnership Framework agreement with the United States to chart a path for sustained support in the fight against this devastating disease. Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Brent Hardt, says the funding will allow for many methods to combat the spread of the virus {CLICK ON LINK FOR AUDIO EXTRACT};-


Dr Hardt addressing participants

Dr Hardt addressing participants

The signing ceremony took place at the residence of the Chargé d’Affaires in Graeme Court, Graeme Hall. Dr Hardt says although the USA provides funding, nevertheless the Caribbean retains ownership of ways to implement the initiatives {CLICK ON LINK FOR AUDIO EXTRACT};-


PEPFAR's Caribbean Coordinator William J. Conn

PEPFAR's Caribbean Coordinator William J. Conn

This new collaboration, worth up to $100 million USD over five years, is made possible by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This project is coordinated by William Conn, he believes regional agencies should use portions of the funding to target young people {CLICK ON LINK FOR AUDIO EXTRACT};-


With the ratification of this Framework, funds will be available to begin project implementation as early as June this year. The PEPFAR Director says the region has a number of territories which need to revise their attitudes as to how AIDS can be spread {CLICK ON LINK FOR AUDIO EXTRACT};-


Since the Caribbean possesses the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, second only to Sub-Saharan Africa, the United States recognizes that a regionally targeted program for the Caribbean could directly meet critical public health needs and support the outstanding work already ongoing in the region to combat this disease.

The AIDS epidemic continues to be a leading cause of death among Caribbean adults age 25-44 years of age and has left nearly a quarter of a million Caribbean children orphaned.

Dr Hardt with Caribbean Health officials

Dr Hardt with Caribbean Health officials

Dr. Hardt signed the document on behalf of the US, along with Ministers of Health of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the OECS HIV/AIDS Program Unit (HAPU). Donville Inniss – MOH for host country, Barbados, expressed gratitude over the plan;-

Similar events will take place in the other participating partner nations including The Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, to include the CARICOM Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP).

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