Global Fund Director Feachem, Rev. Warren Partner To Increase Funding for Faith-Based Groups
Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Rev. Rick Warren on Wednesday at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto announced that they will be partnering to increase funding for faith-based groups in Warren's global church network, USA Today reports. Warren -- a best-selling author and founding pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. -- oversees a network of 400,000 churches of various denominations that have common social concerns. Feachem said that although the Global Fund has sought to provide more grants to faith-based groups, it has received few applications from such groups, USA Today reports. According to Feachem, the Churches Health Association of Zambia, or CHAZ, is one example of an effective partnership between the Global Fund and faith-based groups. The Global Fund has provided $145 million to CHAZ, which coordinates the efforts of Christian, Muslim and Bahai groups that provide HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria services in the country. CHAZ Director Simon Mphuka said the Global Fund successfully works with churches in the country, which provide 60% of the rural medical care in Zambia. Warren said he became involved in HIV/AIDS prevention work four years ago, and his church has begun working in Rwanda to fight poverty, disease and corruption. "The church is the biggest network in the world," Warren said, adding, "I can bring you to 10 million villages in the world that don't have a doctor, don't have a post office; they have nothing but a church. But it's already on the ground, and we don't have to hire staff." Mphuka said that some groups "spoil the good work that they do" because they advocate an abstinence-until-marriage HIV prevention method. Warren said he believes the only way to curb the spread of HIV is to "save sex for marriage" and encourage men to respect women. "Everyone knows this is a women's pandemic driven by behavior in men," Warren said, adding that he will not dictate his beliefs to others. "Let's everyone do what they can do," he said (Sternberg, USA Today, 8/17).
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