16 August 2005

Lesotho: Senior UN Officials to Visit On Aids

Johannesburg — Two senior UN officials will arrive in Lesotho's capital, Maseru, on Wednesday to assess the country's progress in providing treatment for HIV/AIDS.

Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, will focus on health centres and home-based care during his three-day visit, while the World Health Organisation's global AIDS director, Jim Kim, will examine progress made in implementing his agency's "3-by-5" initiative during a one-day visit.

A recent joint report by the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation noted that HIV/AIDS was a leading factor in the drastic reduction of household income.

A UN statement said Lewis's "advocacy efforts, visits and follow-ups have contributed significantly in putting Lesotho on the global radar screen, as he has relentlessly pushed for technical and financial resources in supporting government's efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS and, more specifically, in scaling up treatment".

Both officials are expected to meet with various government ministers, resident UN teams and NGOs.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

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