Feature story

African Parliamentarians commit to universal access to HIV services

18 May 2009

UNAIDS and UNDP in West and Central Africa UNAIDS and UNDP in West and Central Africa signed a memorandum of understanding with the Forum of Arab and African Parliamentarians for Population and Development (FAAPPD)
Credit UNAIDS/M.O. Dème

UNAIDS and UNDP in West and Central Africa have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Forum of Arab and African Parliamentarians for Population and Development (FAAPPD) formalizing the commitment of the Parliamentarians to work towards the goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services in the region.

Established in 1997, FAAPPD is an organization of parliamentarians constituted of the national networks of parliamentarians working on health issues, including HIV, in 61 African and Middle Eastern Countries.

The role of parliamentarians in creating and strengthening societal dialogue on key issues such as access to HIV-related prevention, treatment and care services for the most marginalized and vulnerable is needed now more than ever.

Dr Meskerem Grunitzky-Bekele, UNAIDS Regional Director for West and Central Africa and Mr Jean-Christophe Deberre, Deputy Regional Director, UNDP West and Central Africa

The memorandum of understanding describes joint activities involving the regional partners in order to strengthen the role of the parliamentarians in a range of issues including leadership, law reform and ensuring the sustainability of the response to HIV through budgetary allocation.

Welcoming this important milestone of leadership for universal access, Dr Meskerem Grunitzky-Bekele, UNAIDS Regional Director for West and Central Africa and Mr Jean-Christophe Deberre, Deputy Regional Director, UNDP West and Central Africa noted that: “the role of parliamentarians in creating and strengthening societal dialogue on key issues such as access to HIV-related prevention, treatment and care services for the most marginalized and vulnerable is needed now more than ever.”

The signing of the memorandum of understanding is part of regional collaboration between partners UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, UNODC, OHCHR, UNIFEM, UNFPA, ECOWAS, OSIWA, USAID and FAAPPD. By working together the partners hope to create an enabling environment for an effective AIDS response in West and Central Africa.