IFRC Launches $21M Appeal for HIV/AIDS Program in Five African Countries
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Tuesday launched an appeal for a $21 million, three-year HIV/AIDS program in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Nigeria, AFP/Google.com reports.
The community-based program, which will operate between 2008 and 2010, aims to expand IFRC's HIV/AIDS work in the five countries through home-based care, anti-discrimination efforts and prevention initiatives. According to an IFRC statement, the program hopes to reach 950,000 vulnerable people in the countries, including 49,000 people living with HIV, 13,000 commercial sex workers and 10,000 orphans. Based on UNAIDS statistics, IFRC estimates that approximately 4.5 million people are living with HIV in these countries, including about 400,000 children younger than age 14. In 2006, about 350,000 people died of AIDS-related causes and 1.9 million children have been orphaned by the disease in the five countries that will be targeted with the IFRC program, AFP/Google.com reports.
Abdourahmane Ndiaye, IFRC's HIV Program Officer for the region, said that West and Central Africa are struggling to deal with the effects of HIV. He added that HIV/AIDS is "a major obstacle to development," because the disease affects all key sectors of society, including the economy, health, education and food security (AFP/Google.com, 7/22).