Wednesday, 7 May 2014

World Bank Assisted National AIDS Control Support Project Launched

The World Bank assisted National AIDS Control Support Project was launched by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare in New Delhi today. Shri A. H. Khan Choudhury and Smt. Santosh Chowdhary, Ministers of State for Health & Family Welfare were present on the occasion.
Addressing the launch programme, Shri Azad said the prevention of HIV is high priority for Government of India. Over 99.5% of India’s population is free from HIV now. Accordingly the focus of the programme has been on prevention of spread of HIV, while ensuring access to treatment and care for all HIV infected persons. The National AIDS Control Project III was funded by multilateral and bi-lateral development agencies with only a fraction of the cost being borne by domestic budget support. In the current global economic scenario, external aid has dried up and there is need for greater reliance on domestic support to ensure that such a successful programme does not suffer lack of resources. However, the World Bank has been a long-standing partner of India’s fight against HIV/AIDS right from the first day. This partnership has been instrumental in establishing and scaling up the prevention architecture against HIV over years.
It may be mentioned that the Rs.2,550 crore ($510 million) National AIDS Control Support Project has been launched by the Department of AIDS Control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched to help and accelerate the country’s AIDS prevention programme by targeting high risk groups (Female Sex Workers – FSW, Men who have Sex with Men – MSM, Injecting Drug Users – IDU), and vulnerable population (Migrants and Truckers) who are at high risk of getting HIV infection in New Delhi today. The World Bank is supporting this project with an interest-free loan of Rs.1,275 crore ($255 million). The formulation of NACSP was a consultative process where in Civil Society Organizations, community groups, donor partners and international organizations contributed. The groups met in June-July, 2011 where in all the strategies were chalked out.
NACSP will contribute to three of the five strategies of the National AIDS Control Programme IV: (i) the prevention component, (ii) the behaviour change component, and (iii) the institutional strengthening component. The two other components, namely, the provision of care, treatment and support to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) and strategic information management systems (SIMS), including disease surveillance, will be supported by the national budget, with technical and financial support from other donors. The main support of the Project will be provided for the scaling up of HIV prevention interventions, with a focus on the high impact and cost-effective targeted interventions for population groups at high risk, and part of Information Education and Communication (IEC) including behavior change and demand generation. The Project will also support further strengthening of its project management including human resource support and technical support for TIs. By scaling up targeted interventions and prevention services, it is estimated that the project will cover about 90 percent of the high risk groups and avert about 3 million new infections by 2017
The project will also support the Department of AIDS Control in undertaking prevention programmes as well as expand communication and advocacy programmes that promote safe behaviour and discourage stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS. Of the total project cost of $510 million, $255 million will be financed by the World Bank through a credit from the International Development Association (IDA).
For more information on the project, visit: www.nacoonline.org.