US commits more to Jamaica's HIV response despite cutting CHART programme
The Health Ministry says it has been reassured by the United States that it remains committed to Jamaica’s response to HIV, with another five years of investment to be signed off on soon.
The reassurance follows news last week that the US has pulled financial support for the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Programme Network that operates out of the University of the West Indies.
CHART has been involved in a major controversy over the firing of its head, Professor Brendan Bain over statements supporting the retention of buggery laws.
The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Response (PEPFAR) said it discontinued funding on September 1, as part of a global cutback.
However, Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson says financial commitments from the US now stands at about US$2.6 million, which covers activities from March to February next year.
He says additional resources will be provided through PEPFAR for the subsequent five-year period which will mark the third authorisation of funds under the programme.
The Ministry says a high level team from the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator will be visiting Jamaica in October to facilitate the finalising of the revised programme of work under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Response.
Jamaica started benefiting from the American programme in 2009 when US$23 million was committed annually under the Caribbean Regional Partnership Framework for use over five years.
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