World Food Program Expands Program for HIV-Positive People in Rwanda
The World Food Programme recently expanded a project in Rwanda that provides food to HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral drugs, adding 10,000 participants and increasing the number of project sites from 61 to 138 across 18 districts in the country, the New Times/AllAfrica.com reports. The program is meant to provide food assistance in an effort to improve HIV-positive people's nutritional status and their ability to adhere to treatment regimens. Abdoulaye Balde, WFP country director and representative, said, "Everything has been put in place to take care of [HIV-positive people's] needs." He added that in addition to providing food assistance, WFP is providing patients with access to medical care in collaboration with several partners, including the International Center for AIDS Care Treatment Programs, the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Partners in Health and Family Health International.
The program will provide food assistance during the first six months of antiretroviral treatment and will continue to expand the program depending on food shortage gaps identified by health centers. WFP received $715,000 in funding to expand the food program from USAID through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. According to Ryan Washburn, supervisory general development officer for USAID in Rwanda, the U.S. has provided $394 million to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in Rwanda since 2004 (Ndikubwayezu, New Times/AllAfrica.com, 3/2).