HIV :: Enhanced support to AIDS prevention and care programme in north eastern states, India

The Indian Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi launched the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS Prevention and Care in the North-Eastern States. This is a unique endeavour, which demonstrates a strong partnership between the Government of India, the UN system and the donors, the Governments of Australia and Sweden to improve the quality of and augment response to the HIV epidemic in North-East India.

Shri Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Labour & Employment was also present at the function.

As part of the programme, a NACO sub-office has been established in Guwahati to provide enhanced support to the programme in the North-East and strengthen a decentralized response. The sub-office will report directly to NACO and work in tandem with the National Rural Health Mission. The overall operations of the Joint UN Programme will be governed by a Programme Steering Committee, chaired by the Director General, NACO.

It will include the Team Leader of the NACO sub-office, State AIDS Control Societies, Project Directors, UN Resident Coordinator, UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Chair of UN Theme Group and representatives from the Governments of Australia and Sweden.

The Australian Government has made available AUD 10 million (approximately USD 8 million) for a period of over 5 years (2007-2011) for technical assistance. This will be delivered through the UN system for four North-East States (Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland) and for the establishment of the NACO sub-office in Guwahati, Assam. The Government of Sweden will provide USD 650,000 over the three-year period (2006-2008), through the UN system. This will primarily be used for capacity building of civil society organisations in the North-Eastern region.

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