2 Dec 2005

Pacific Community welcomes US$8m boost to HIV/Aids fight

3:22 pm on 2 December 2005

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community has welcomed an eight million US dollar grant from the Asian Development Bank, to fight the spread of HIV/Aids in the Pacific.

The regional programme is understood to be the first of its kind and marks World Aids Day.

Earlier programmes were based on bilateral aid with no special emphasis on HIV/Aids.

The HIV advisor to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Dr Dennie Iniakwala, says this programme is a first in terms of developing a plan and a regional strategy to fight the disease.

"This is really new in terms of ADB funding a HIV/Aids initiative. So it is really new. They haven't been in the Pacific working with HIV/Aids, funding the regional initiative through a regional organisation."

The Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, the Marshall Islandss, Samoa, the Solomons, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will be supported through the plan.

Dr Iniakwala says the strategy will try to incorporate cultural and regional differences with the help of local governments and organisations.