PANCAP News-in the caribbean
HIV response meeting on St Maarten
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:28
- Published on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:28
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The Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Caribbean HIV Office hosted a two-day regional focal point planning meeting at the Public Health Department on St. Maarten August 6-7. Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and the Turks and Caicos Islands are all represented in a European Commission funded project totalling six million euros over a 60-month period.
The project, titled “Strengthening the Integration of the British and Dutch Overseas Territories in the Regional Response to HIV/AIDS within the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/ AIDS (PANCAP) Framework,” seeks to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and attempts to minimize the epidemic’s impact by poverty reduction. All participating territories are in the process of enhancing HIV prevention efforts, to expand access to care and support for patients with HIV. Under the auspices of each territory’s Public Health Department, each implementing agency seeks to also strengthen the human rights of HIV-positive persons in reducing stigma and discrimination. The broad goal is to create a comprehensive HIV/ AIDS among the participating territories and the wider Caribbean region.
A financing agreement for the project had been signed with the European Commission in 2007 and by the territories in April 2008. Funds were received at the end of the same year and the implementation started in 2009. The agreement foresees an end to the financial assistance by July 2014, when all participating territories are to have reached their achievement indicators and should have become selfsustainable in their HIVresponse.
The objective of the meeting was to review past work-plans of each of the participating territories and to analyze implementation achievements with the aim of reaching sustainability. The meeting was designed to provide technical support to the Focal Point representatives in developing work-plans to ensure that these are aligned to the expected results. This structure involves 11 voting members from the territories as well as steering committees in every territory providing policy direction and annual reviews. The project is managed by a steering committee headed by Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot- Williams, and includes others such as Deputy Regional Authorizing Officer Neil Smith from the British Virgin Islands and key government officials from all 11 territories.