Maputo — The United States embassy has announced funding of 1.4 million US dollars this year for Mozambican organisations to implement projects to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
On Monday US ambassador Douglas Griffiths signed funding agreements with representatives of 29 community-based organisations involved in the fight against the epidemic.
The money comes from the Programme to Support Small Scale Projects of PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), and is intended to strengthen health systems, boost professional training and implement income generating activities for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Griffiths praised the progress made by Mozambique in the fight against the disease, but stressed that the battle was far from over. "To save more lives, we have to continue to work together", he said. "You, our partners, are essential for achieving our target of a generation free from AIDS in Mozambique".
The partner associations, he added, have a deeper understanding of Mozambican culture enabling them to assist the US in its actions. "Because of your local knowledge, we can reach the most affected communities and spread messages about preventing HIV, treatment, and the available care and support".
Griffiths said that, since 2004, the United States has invested over a billion dollars in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. In 2011 alone, the US had supported anti-retroviral treatment for almost 200,000 HIV-positive Mozambicans, including over 43,000 pregnant women. It had supported the training of over 1,100 health professionals, and the circumcision of 4,000 men (on the disputed grounds that male circumcision provides men with some measure of protection against HIV infection).
This support from the US embassy for the fight against HIV/AIDS is not new. Griffiths said that 1.4 million dollars is granted every year to local organisations committed to the fight against the disease.