Red Cross Launches Appeal for $290M To Fight HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa
The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday launched an appeal for $290 million to fund a five-year plan to control HIV/AIDS in 10 Southern African countries, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. The plan, which was launched at a two-day symposium in South Africa, includes integrating food aid with home-based care programs; supporting governments in their efforts to distribute antiretroviral treatment; and urging governments, the private sector and the international community to support vulnerable children. The plan also will aim to reduce the stigma and discrimination by influential leaders associated with HIV/AIDS. The money will be used to boost the Red Cross' work in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Francoise Le Goff, regional director of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, called on the governments of Southern Africa to increase their own efforts to control the pandemic. According to Le Goff, ICRC supports more than 50,000 home-based HIV/AIDS patients and about 100,000 children who have lost parents to the disease in the region. "This is just a drop in the ocean compared to the needs of 25.8 million people living with HIV/AIDS and over four million orphaned children," Le Goff said, adding, "There is an enormous amount of work to be done in the region" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 4/6).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.