The Government of Liberia (GoL) through the National AIDS Commission (NAC) and the National AIDS/STIs Control Program (NACP) in collaboration with the United Nations System and civil society organizations in Liberia have commenced a three day technical review and validation retreat of the newly developed National Strategy Plan (NSP) 2015-2020 in Carreysburg City-Montserrado County.
The NSP is aimed at mobilizing resources to finance the national HIV and AIDS response, providing treatment, care and support to address the welfare of people living with HIV over the next six years-2015-2020.
The retreat is being held in Louelle Business Center (Bell Dumber Farm) in Bentol/VOA Highway, Carreysburg City, lower Montserrado County.
The review and validation of the NSP 2015-2020 retreat which is being financed by the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Global Fund is attended by over 36 national and international partners including representatives of the government and UN organizations, as well as people living with HIV, key populations, faith-based organizations, media network and institutions.
Authorities of NAC and NACP say, the NSP 2015-2020 is an expression of the Liberia's vision of achieving the universally desirable goal of "Zero New HIV Infections, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths, and Zero Discrimination" in the six years, as the global plan is about to elapsed.
Welcoming participants at the opening of the retreat, Dr. Wilfred S. Boayue, NAC's Commissioner for programs and policy said the NSP is premised on the evidence of the epidemic in the Liberia context and driven by Liberia's commitment to achieve sustainable results in a resource-constrained environment.
Representing the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr. David Logan, Global Fund program manager in Liberia said the NSP2015-2020 seeks to optimize the outcomes of the national HIV response interventions through the complementary and collateral benefits realized from implementing selected key social and programmatic enablers and building synergies with key development sector programs that have bearings on HIV and AIDS.
"This is a very important exercise for the Country. We are having this retreat to review and validate a document that will help us present a national proposal to our global partners. It is an effort to mobilize resources for the financing of the NSP 2015-2020," Mr. Logan said.
Also speaking, Mr. Isaac Ahemesah, UNAIDS Liberia/Officer-In-Charge, said the development of the NSP2015-2020 as a country is an important step to doing the right thing in the right direction. He said the document, if completed, will positively abetted the national HIV and AIDS response.
"This process will help Liberia correct the wrongs especially after the implementation of the National Strategy Framework I and II, as such, we should look at the technical details/context of the NSP to benefit Liberians in totality," the UNAIDS OIC noted.
For his part, Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of NAC also acknowledged the importance of the retreat and the validation of the NSP 2015-2020; noting that it will guide the County in the next six years.
"You will not be able to edit this document after these exercises that will be held for these few days. I hope you will put in your all-making this NSP the best for Liberia and Liberians. The NSP 2015-2020 is to stop new HIV infections and keep PLHIV alive and healthy," Dr. Camanor challenged the participants.