Originally: United States is fighting AIDS/HIV in Haiti

United States is fighting AIDS/HIV in Haiti

21 août 2003

 ROGER F. NORIEGA, Assistant Secretary

Assistant Secretary
Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State

With all due respect to Anthony Lake’s Aug. 10 Otherviews column Young AIDS victims in Haiti need a new plan, the United States is at the forefront of the global fight to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS, and we have been especially active and effective in Haiti.

Haiti is one of 14 African and Caribbean countries set to benefit from a major new initiative in President Bush’s emergency plan for HIV/AIDS relief. Haiti already has received money and begun programs under the president’s International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative. The U.S. Agency for International Development has budgeted $7.75 million to support a variety of programs in Haiti to fight the disease during the current fiscal year.

The United States will contribute an additional $1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next five years, on top of the more than $600 million that we have already committed. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson currently chairs the Global Fund board. One of the first grants approved by the fund in April 2002 provides Haiti with $24 million for a variety of HIV/AIDS projects in both the public and private sectors.

Because of concerns about official corruption, the absence of proper accounting and the lack of transparency in the Haitian government, we prefer to channel the vast majority of our aid to nongovernmental organizations that have a proven track record. To do otherwise would be a disservice to thousands of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS as well as the potential victims of the disease.

We look forward to the day when a Haitian government makes a serious and effective effort to tackle the corruption permeating its ministries. Until that happens, we have no choice but to channel our support through reliable organizations that help those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Haiti.