The UNDP Regional Project – Development Implications of HIV/AIDS
Recognising the need for a strategic response to the growing threat of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Asia and Pacific Region, in 1991 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiated the Regional Project "Development Implications of HIV/AIDS". The Project's mandate is to raise awareness of the social and economic implications of the epidemic and to catalyse action among decision makers in government, business and non-government sectors.
From its base in New Delhi, the Project is working with nineteen countries throughout the region. In most countries, the Project has initiated workshops to discuss the development dimensions of the epidemic and to promote multisectoral involvement in the design of national programmes. The workshops provide an opportunity for representatives of the social and productive sectors to discuss critical issues that shape a country's response to HIV/AIDS. The issues include:
• the impact of HIV/AIDS on the social and economic life of the family and community;
The project has also provided opportunities for inter-country consultations on economic issues, on collaboration between NGOs and the private sector, and on the legal and ethical issues surrounding the HIV epidemic. Planners, business executives and other professionals have participated in these inter-disciplinary discussions on the problems generated by the virus and potential strategies for lessening its impact.
The Project is committed to supporting non-government organisations (NGOs) in their efforts to develop their vital contributions towards the fight against AIDS in the region. The Project aims to help these organisations to define their role in relation to HIV/AIDS and to identify appropriate prevention and service delivery strategies through the medium of workshops, training seminars, development of training and reference materials, and with encouragement and assistance for NGO networking.
Project staff and consultants are active throughout the region absorbing the lessons of earlier attempts to curb the epidemic; documenting promising initiatives and creating opportunities for countries within the region to share information about their programmes and their experiences. The project has contributed in the following ways:
• Project support for economic and social sector research promises to assist governments to shape their response to the epidemic.
These experiences have helped the project staff to shape the UNDP medium-term strategy for HIV/AIDS in the region. Furthermore, UNDP hopes that these efforts will strengthen the ability of policy makers and planners to develop concrete multisectoral strategies for limiting the pandemic and dealing with its consequences.
Joyce V. Lyons
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