Lesotho fourth country to see (RED) funds to fight AIDS, UN says
The southern African nation of Lesotho has become the fourth country assisted by the United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to receive funds from the consumer-driven (PRODUCT) RED initiative.
(RED), which gets a portion of the sales of sponsoring products for proven HIV projects in Africa, was launched in 2006 by Irish musician Bono and Bobby Shriver, nephew of former United States President John F. Kennedy.
Lesotho, in which one fourth of the population is infected by the HIV virus, joins Rwanda, Swaziland and Ghana in the Global Fund-(RED) portfolio, which has benefited from more than $100 million in income generated so far.
“We are delighted to announce the addition of Lesotho to the three countries already receiving (RED) funds,” said Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund, which, along with the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), finances most major AIDS treatment and prevention initiatives in developing countries.
“The Global Fund-supported programme is contributing to stemming the growth of AIDS in Lesotho and ensuring treatment and care for thousands of people living with the disease,” Dr. Kazatchkine added.
The Global Fund selects programs for (RED) investment based on their proven track record, ambitious targets and the countries’ undisputed need, according to a press release.
In keeping with the Fund’s philosophy of supporting local solutions, the Global Fund (RED)-supported programme in Lesotho is managed by the country’s Ministry of Finance.
The programme assists with antiretroviral therapy for AIDS patients, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, home-based care for people living with HIV, counselling and testing for HIV and basic care for vulnerable children, the Fund said.