October 15, 2001
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has granted $11.5 million to Mozambique for an HIV/AIDS program, officials said last week. The program, called the Development Corridor of Hope, will involve individuals and communities living along the Maputo Development Corridor -- a key road and rail link between South Africa and Mozambique -- in the distribution of information designed to combat AIDS and encourage safe sexual practices. The southern provinces of Gaza and Inhambane, where large numbers of people are infected, will also be covered by the program.
Mozambique's AIDS program also aims to improve health care for those already infected with the virus and to tackle the discrimination faced by sufferers. An agreement formalizing the grant for the program from the US government agency was signed last Monday by USAID country director Cynthia Rozell and Graca Machel, Mozambique's former first lady and now head of the local non-governmental organization the Community Development Foundation, which will oversee the implementation of the program. Official estimates say that about 16 percent of Mozambique's population of 17 million are HIV-positive, with 700 new infections occurring daily.