UN agency launches effort to provide food to families affected by HIV/AIDS
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced the launch of its first major campaign to provide food aid to families affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
“For the poorest of the poor, who are the people WFP assists, the onset of HIV/AIDS for the chief income-earner can shatter the entire family unit,” said John Powell, Director of the WFP Regional Bureau for Asia. “Properly targeted, food aid for them would be a life-saving tool…[it] would guarantee good-quality nourishment for the AIDS patient and would reduce malnutrition among the family members.”
Working with other UN agencies, WFP plans to launch its efforts to support home-based care with food aid both in Southeast Asia and in a number of countries in East Africa.
Underscoring the importance of the initiative, Judith Lewis, who heads WFP’s Regional Bureau for Eastern, Southern and the Horn of Africa, called HIV/AIDS “perhaps the single biggest threat to the development of Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Tony Lisle, of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, noted that in Asia, there is a “window of opportunity” to forestall the spread of the disease. “The WFP initiative is a timely and innovative strategy to slow the disastrous effects of the virus in the region,” he said.