CARICOM gets more HIV/AIDS funds from Germany

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, February 29, 2008 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has signed a Financing Agreement worth eight million euros to fund its HIV/AIDS fight.

The grant, disbursed in two tranches the first of five million and the second of three million, is to assist the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean (PANCAP) in its attempts to prevent the spreads of the virus.

The agreement enables the disbursement of the final three million euros following a successful review of the activities undertaken with the first five million under the project.

The project, which began in March 2005, was initially implemented in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and in 2007 it was extended to include Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, the Eastern Caribbean islands and St Maarten.

“A review of the project has shown that at the end of 2007, social marketing condom sales had increased in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Belize; Behaviour Change Communication activities using a multi-media approach – such as television and peer educators – have reached thousands of young persons in Belize, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and a sexual debut campaign in the Dominican Republic has reached approximately 3.9 million people,” the CARICOM Secretariat indicated in a release.

The latest disbursement will allow for activities to continue until a second assessment is conducted later this year.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to reducing the HIV infection rate and the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases. It is specifically aimed at preventing the spread of HIV infection through social and behaviour change communication in the Caribbean and increasing the total condom market including sales and distribution of condoms.