British Government To Provide $28M for HIV/AIDS Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa
The British government on Tuesday announced that it will provide 225 million rand, or about $28 million, over the next four years to fight HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, SAPA/iAfrica.com reports. According to Russ Dixon, a spokesperson for the British High Commission, the funding is a continuation of the government's support for Soul City initiatives.
Soul City is a radio and television program that deals with HIV/AIDS and other issues -- including teenage pregnancy, poverty and intolerance -- in Southern African countries. "Soul City indicated to us that they wanted to expand to the sub-Saharan region as a whole in all forms of the media," Dixon said. He added that it is important for the British government to continue its support because of the high HIV/AIDS rates in the region. The British government has spent more than 200 million rand, or about $24 million, on the program during the past 13 years, SAPA/iAfrica.com reports.
British Minister for International Development Gillian Merron, who made the funding announcement during a two-day visit to South Africa, said the government is proud to be associated with Soul City. She added, "Young people deserve to have access to information that can save their lives, and Soul City's approach does just that." John Molefe, spokesperson for Soul City, said effective communication is key to controlling the spread of HIV (SAPA/iAfrica.com, 3/19).