U.S extends PEPFAR programme

19 Dec 2018 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 DEC ( NAMPA) – The United States of America (USA) has extended the President Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (PEPFAR) programme, which amongst others funds HIV/Aids mitigation efforts in several countries in the developing world.
A media release by the United States Embassy on Wednesday said the extension came into effect after U.S. President Donald Trump signed the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018 into law on 11 December.
The extension means the foreign aid programme, which also provide assistance to the combating of Tuberculosis and Malaria in addition to HIV/Aids, will continue until 2023.
“This signing extends the provisions made in the 'United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003' for an additional five years reauthorising U.S. investment in PEPFAR and the Global Fund through 2023,” the statement noted.
PEPFAR was established by the Global AIDS Act of 2003 and renewed in 2008 and 2013.
It is the single-largest global health initiative targeting a single disease in history.
According to the media release, the programme has helped more than 2.4 million babies be born HIV-free, and currently provides support for antiretroviral treatment for 14.6 million people, both directly and through technical support to partner countries.
“This marks another significant moment in the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) history of lifesaving work. In the past 15 years, PEPFAR has enjoyed tremendous bipartisan support from eight U.S. congresses and has been supported by three consecutive U.S. presidents,” U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Deborah Birx was quoted in the statement.
Birx said since its inception, PEPFAR has saved over 17 million lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and transformed the global Aids response from “death and despair to life and hope.'
For fiscal year 2019, PEPFAR Namibia's operating budget has been set at U.S dollar $71.6 million (approximately N.dollars 1 billion).