HIV fight gets a further injection of N$435 million from U.S. Government
The United States Government, represented by the Agency for International Development (USAID), the Namibian Government represented by the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Health and Social Services, signed an amendment to their 2007 bilateral grant agreement to add N$435 million of funding under the US’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
These resources will fund activities under the 2017 PEPFAR Country Operational Plan. With the addition of the N$435 million, USAID’s contribution to the agreement totals N$4.1 billion since its inception in 2007.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Economic Planning, Hon. Tom Alweendo and the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon. Julieta Kavetuna, as well as the Director of the USAID Southern Africa Regional Mission in Pretoria, Mr. John Groarke, and the American Ambassador to Namibia, His Excellency Thomas Daughton.
Under PEPFAR, USAID and its US Government partner agencies, notably the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the Peace Corps, and the State Department, together with their implementing partners, support the health ministry to combat HIV/AIDS in Namibia.
This work includes general HIV testing and treatment, prevention measures, capacity building and logistics support. All of these elements are essential for Namibia to be able to reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals (90% of all Namibians infected with HIV know their status, 90% of those individuals are on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment are non-infectious).
When this is achieved and sustained, the HIV epidemic will officially be considered under control. Namibia is close to achieving this goal. PEPFAR’s focus is on identifying and treating those who are infected but who have not yet tested, particularly individuals living in areas with a high prevalence of HIV, as well as on demographic groups most at risk of contracting HIV, such as young women and older men.
This week the US Embassy in Windhoek said that PEPFAR is the largest commitment ever by a single nation to an international health initiative which they described as a comprehensive approach to combat HIV/AIDS around the world. PEPFAR employs the most diverse prevention, treatment, and care strategy in the world, with an emphasis on transparency and accountability for results. In Namibia, PEPFAR is led by the U.S. Ambassador and programmed by an inter-agency management team chaired by the PEPFAR Coordinator.
Since 2010, the American Government’s development assistance to Namibia has focused on the HIV epidemic and its related health challenges, such as Tuberculosis, with USAID supporting the Namibian Government’s national HIV response in coordination with civil society.