KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

World Food Programme To Shift Focus in Southern Africa to HIV/AIDS

World Food Programme Executive Director James Morris on Monday announced that the organization within the next six months will shift its aid efforts in Southern Africa from providing traditional emergency food aid to providing HIV/AIDS-related assistance, the Financial Times reports. WFP in April -- in partnership with other U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations -- will shift its operations in Southern Africa to focus on a long-term recovery strategy by providing nutritional support and other services for HIV-positive people (Dyer/Lamont, Financial Times, 11/18). Aid agencies in September said that food shortages would continue to be a problem in Southern African countries, as the AIDS epidemic continues to hamper the region's ability to fight drought. In addition, the pandemic has eroded resource-poor regions' abilities to maintain agricultural infrastructure and cope with droughts, Mike Huggins, regional spokesperson for WFP, said (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/1). "It's less of a traditional food security problem. ... HIV/AIDS is a crisis just as if people face a flood or a drought," Morris said, adding, "It's a sustained problem." As part of the WFP's new "AIDS-driven focus," the organization plans to distribute baskets of food with high nutritional value and conduct HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns at food distribution centers and schools, according to the Times (Financial Times, 11/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.