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Belarus will receive almost ? 24 million to fight HIV/AIDS

23 July 2009: Belarus will receive 23.8 million EUROs to prevent HIV and reduce AIDS–related mortality rate. An agreement to this end was sighed today between the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United Nations Development Programme. The agreement was also sealed by vice–premier of Belarus Vladimir Potupchik. The grant will be implemented by UNDP together with the Ministry of Health of Belarus.

This unprecedented grant will be disbursed within five years, from 2010 through 2014, and it will be used to finance the new project on providing vulnerable population groups with access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services. The project will focus on the following four key tasks:

  1. Providing assistance in changing the behaviour of major vulnerable population groups (intravenous drug users (IDUs), female sex workers (FSWs), men having sex with men (MSM), prisoners, young people) to a safer one;
  2. Securing continuous and equal access to treatment, care and support for people living with HIV (PLH) by enhancing the healthcare system and supporting the programmes on encouraging HIV patients’ commitment to treatment;
  3. Creation of favourable conditions at the national and local levels for securing universal access to prevention, treatment and care services;
  4. Supporting the national healthcare personnel strategy.

With the assistance of the grant, 34 thousand IDUs, 24 thousand MSM, 8,500 FSWs, and 50 thousand prisoners will be covered with HIV prevention activities. By the end of 2014, 4,000 people leaving with HIV will be receiving antiretroviral treatment, which makes up 95 percent of the total number of PLH in need of treatment. Amendment of the existing programmes for universities, instructors and parents, and development of new programmes is envisaged under the grant. By the year 2014, up to 90 percent of schools will include courses on HIV prevention into their curricula, and 10 religious schools will introduce courses on AIDS.

“This grant will be used to implement the biggest international technical assistance project in Belarus”, said UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, Mr. Antonius Broek at the press conference. “The agreement signed by Belarus and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is already the third agreement that the country signs with this donor. Since 2004, the total contribution from the Fund to Belarus amounts to 64 million US dollars”.

Ms. Maria Kirova, the Portfolio Manager for Belarus of the Global Fund, noted that the work performed under the previous HIV/AIDS grant was very successful, and the Fund expects the new project to produce similar results.

For reference: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established to accumulate resources for fighting the three major killers in the world, and to direct them to the most needy territories. Since its creation in 2002, the Fund has approved allocation of 15.6 billion dollars for 572 programmes in 140 countries.

For more information please refer to UNDP Programme Analyst, Anna Chernyshova, ph. 227 45 27, or UNDP Communications Associate, Vladislav Khilkevich, ph. 227 38 17.

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