Drive for AIDS funding in Côte d’Ivoire
09 May 2007
The President of Côte d’Ivoire, His Excellency Laurent Gbagbo, is leading the drive to mobilize resources for the implementation of the county’s national AIDS plan.
At a roundtable meeting held in Abidjan at the beginning of May, President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro welcomed members of the Government, heads of key departments of the public and private sector, civil society groups including networks of people living with HIV, religious leaders and non-governmental organizations to discuss strategy and action to ensure full funding for the implementation of the 2006-2010 National Strategic Plan. High–level representative of the United Nations system and development partners, and the Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for West and Central Africa also attended on the invitation of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.
The 2006-2010 National Strategic Plan contains clear targets for scaling up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. It was developed in collaboration with a number of partners and its total cost amounts to US$577 million.
In addition to domestic funding for AIDS from the government itself, financial and technical support for AIDS in Cote d’Ivoire is provided by the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund, the World Bank and the UN system.
Addressing participants of the roundtable meeting, the President and the Prime Minister emphasized AIDS as “the major challenge for the country’s development” and called for extensive social mobilization and the involvement of all sectors, particularly the civil society and the networks of people living with HIV. They also stressed the important role of public/private partnerships in the national response.
The leaders appealed to partners to harmonize approaches and to strengthen support, especially at this crucial post conflict period, while committing themselves to ensure transparency and accountability with regard to resources management.
The UNAIDS Director of the Regional Support Team for West and Central Africa Dr Bekele Grunitzky had an audience with the President in the presence of the Minister in charge of AIDS the representatives of WFP, UNICEF, WHO and the UNAIDS Country Coordinator. Speaking on behalf of UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot, Dr Bekele Grunitzky expressed thanks and appreciation to President Gbagbo and his government for maintaining their commitment to address AIDS. “We congratulate the President and the country on the progress made towards peace, a prerequisite for the development of the country and the scaling up of the AIDS response,” she said.
“We also applaud the government for their evident commitment and leadership on AIDS. UNAIDS and its cosponsors are fully committed to support Côte d’Ivoire throughout the implementation of the National Strategic Plan,” she added.
An estimated 750,000 people are living with HIV in Côte d’Ivoire, over half of whom are women over the age of 15 (400,000). At the end of 2005, HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 – 49 stood at 7.1%.
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