The NEWS (Monrovia)

30 May 2013

Liberia: UN Commits Support to HIV Prevention

Eleven United Nations Agencies operating in Liberia have committed their willingness to continue their support for the provision of treatment, care for HIV&AIDS prevention in the country.

The UN agencies include, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank.

The UN agencies' commitment for intervention and support were made at a five-day Retreat held recently in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The retreat was attended by 40 representatives from the Government of Liberia and civil society organizations. According to the UN agencies, the support to HIV&AIDS prevention, treatment and care will be articulated in a broad three-year strategic framework under the second phase recently concluded by the Government of Liberia and UN partners.

The framework includes additional information on specific support areas and interventions within the document, funding modalities, and a monitoring and evaluation framework.

During the retreat, the participants representing the Liberian government and UN agencies jointly reviewed achievements and lessons learned from the first phase of the Joint UN Program 2010-2012 support to the country on HIV&AIDS prevention.

The weeklong brainstorming enabled participants to identify broad areas that require follow up assistance or additional support to enhance access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, support and gender equality throughout the country.

In remarks, the Country Representative of UN Women Sheelagh Kathy Mangones said, the retreat was timely because it gives them (UN agencies) to identify areas that require intervention in the prevention of HIV&AIDS in Liberia.

"I wish to congratulate you for the hard work that has gone into organizing this retreat, debating issues, reviewing achievements during phase one of this joint initiative, identifying gaps and areas that require further support and for the excellent job of formulating this initial broad framework for further support on the treatment, care and prevention of HIV and AIDS in Liberia," she indicated. Ms. Mangones said HIV&AIDS does not only affect health situation, it also has far reaching economic, psychological and social consequences; as such, it needs to be tackled holistically by all stakeholders.

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