Red Cross Launches $300 Million AIDS Appeal for Southern Africa
November 3, 2006
On Wednesday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched a campaign to raise $300 million for its HIV/AIDS programs in southern Africa. The five-year effort, part of the new International Federation Global HIV and AIDS Alliance, seeks to prevent new infections and reinforce treatment and support systems, the Red Cross said. Ten countries will benefit from the appeal: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
"The program has already started, and represents a quadrupling of our efforts in the region, the worst affected in the world with approximately 12.3 million people living with HIV including 860,000 children less than 14 years old," said Dr. Mukesh Kapila, the International Federation's special representative for HIV/AIDS.
According to Kapila, the program aims to reach 50 million people with prevention messages and provide services for more than 250,000 HIV-infected persons. The effort relies on volunteers and persons living with the disease to help work with local communities.
The Red Cross also hopes to reach some 460,000 children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. "The recent controversy on the adoption of children by celebrities in southern Africa is a reminder of how desperate the situation is," said Kapila. "We will be working on more sustainable approaches to support orphans and vulnerable children. This means developing income generation activities as well as giving psycho-social support."
11.01.2006; Celean Jacobson