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UN agencies help Tanzania to set up HIV/AIDS national body

UN agencies help Tanzania to set up HIV/AIDS national body

Several United Nations agencies have joined forces to help the Government of Tanzania to set up a new national body to coordinate all aspects of the country's response to HIV/AIDS, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), a lead partner in the effort.

UNDP said it was working with the Prime Minister's Office to establish the "Tanzania Commission for HIV/AIDS." Since government funds are not available for the 2000-2001 fiscal year, UNDP and the Royal Danish Embassy, on behalf of the other partners, have contributed $375,000 to help establish the Commission, the agency said in a statement issued yesterday in New York.

Partners supporting the new Commission include the foreign aid agencies of Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNDP and the World Bank.

"Government recognition of the need for a more aggressive multisectoral response is very welcome," said Sally Fegan-Wyles, UNDP's top official in Tanzania. "We can already see an increased awareness of the need for action by all segments of society."

While action against HIV/AIDS is under way in communities around the country, the Ministry of Health was until recently the main government agency involved in anti-AIDS work. The authorities are now committed to mobilizing all sectors of society - public and private - for prevention and care activities, which the new Commission will help promote and coordinate.