World Bank, Partners Launch Competition in South Asia To Develop Approaches Aimed at Reducing HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma
The World Bank in partnership with the United Nations and private companies on Tuesday in New Delhi, India, launched a competitive grant program that aims to identify and fund creative approaches to reducing HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in the South Asia region, IANS/Yahoo! News reports (IANS/Yahoo! News, 12/11). The initiative, called "Tackling HIV and AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: From Insights to Action," will reach out to communities across the South Asia region -- including those in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- The Hindu reports.
The World Bank is seeking proposals for local, small-scale projects with the potential to be expanded and duplicated. Proposals will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2008. The winners of the competition will be selected on May 15, 2008, in Mumbai, India, by an international jury of World Bank and independent HIV/AIDS experts, according to a statement. The maximum award will be $40,000 per proposal (The Hindu, 12/12). The program has awarded nearly $34 million to about 800 small-scale projects during the last seven years in various countries worldwide.
"Stigma and discrimination seriously undermine efforts to fight HIV/AIDS," World Bank Vice President for the South Asia region Praful Patel said at the launch of the initiative. "It also marginalizes people at risk and living with the disease, contributing further to their social isolation and rejection," Patel said, adding that the "competition offers a unique opportunity to channel small grants directly to community organizations and nongovernmental organizations to implement imaginative approaches that will help change attitudes and practices that undermine effective programs" (IANS/Yahoo! News, 12/11).