Daily Trust (Abuja)

14 July 2014

Nigeria Has Largest Aids Project in the World - USAID Director

Mission Director, of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael Harvey has said that Nigeria has the largest AIDs project of the agency, in the world. He said so today at the End of Project Dissemination of the Community Based Support (CUBS) for Orphans and Vulnerable Children which took place at the Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja.

Describing Africare and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) who collaborated on the project, as two of the American people's best development agencies, Harvey said, the project funded as part of the President's Emergency Response for Aids (PEPFAR) programme, "is a massive US government investment around the world to fight the epidemic of HIV and AIDs but with a particular emphasis in Africa."

Adding: "One of the USAID's largest programmess for many years has been here in Nigeria. But now it is the largest HIV/AIDs programme in the world. For all the work that we have done in Nigeria, the challenge of HIV remains and remains a challenge for the people of Nigeria and for its friends and partners around the world who come to help with what is a medical challenge, a health issue, but also a social issue and a social challenge," he said.

One of the most touching parts of HIV/AIDs around the world has been the children who are left behind by parents who have fallen to the disease.

Harvey emphasised that the US would continue to facilitate lasting partnerships and systems to promote tangible policies for OVCs in Nigeria while working with government on successor programs. He said: "The work for disadvantaged children in Nigeria is far from over. We know this because the 2013 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey indicate that nine percent of children in Nigeria are orphans or are vulnerable due to illness of adult household members.

CUBS, was a five-year activity carried out through a variety of community-based family-centred approaches, successfully reached close to 50, 000 children in 12, 500 households, providing food/nutrition, health, education, shelter, psychosocial care, protection and skills.

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