UNDP To Launch Joint Country Program on HIV/AIDS in China
The United Nations Development Programme is planning to launch a joint program on HIV/AIDS in China in an effort to combine the activities of several U.N. agencies into a common plan for fighting the disease, Khalid Malik, UNDP's resident representative in China, said recently, the China Daily reports. Malik made the announcement during a recent visit to Guangzhou, the capital of China's Guangdong province.
The program, called the U.N. Joint Country Program on HIV/AIDS in China, aims to provide ongoing support for China's five-year action plan against HIV/AIDS, which was announced last year, Malik said. The United Nations also will assist several provinces in mobilizing HIV/AIDS awareness efforts and support other external agencies. In addition, UNDP plans to serve as a link between local efforts and the national elements of the joint country program, Malik said.
China in May 2003 launched the China Care program in selected counties in 25 provinces to strengthen care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Despite the program, in many counties there is a "severe lack of capacity for counseling, so progress with the treatment is slow," Malik said, adding, "Also many unforeseen obstacles are being encountered, such as people dropping out of the program because they are not getting proper advice from the doctors." As a result, the United Nation's HIV/AIDS programs in China have focused on facilitating the country's efforts to curb the disease, Malik said. "Over the past decade, U.N. agencies in China have played a significant role with respect to promoting national advocacy, policy and planning in the field of HIV/AIDS," he said. Malik added the national budget for HIV/AIDS in China has increased from about $12.5 million in 2002 to about $185 million last year (Quanlin, China Daily, 6/19).