UNDP'S Role in HIV/AIDS
It is difficult to visualise the devastating effect of the HIV epidemic within our lifetimes and beyond. WHO estimates that already one in every 250 adults in the world is infected. By the year 2000, forty million people will be infected, a disproportional number of these living in the developing world. In nations already experiencing critical social and economic problems including poverty, famine and food shortage, inadequate sanitation and health care, the subordination of women, and adjustment policies that allocate insufficient resources to the social sector, the vulnerability to the consequences of the epidemic will be intensified. Without effective responses to this epidemic at the community, national and international level, the efforts of the last 25 years to strengthen the human and capital resources for national development may be severely hampered.
The HIV epidemic requires immediate and effective responses in new programming areas, including: attitudinal and behaviour change; community-based care and support initiatives; and the maintenance of human development in the face of increasing levels .of illness and death.
To respond to the threat to social and economic development posed by the rapid spread of the epidemic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), within the framework of the Global AIDS Strategy, has established the HIV and Development Programme. This programme encompasses global, interregional, regional, national and community programming initiatives designed to increase the capacity of nations and individuals to respond effectively to the HIV epidemic.
The mandate of the HIV and Development Programme has been established by the UNDP Governing Council and is outlined in its Policy Framework and Guiding Principles. UNDP works in close collaboration with national governments, community-based organisations, private sector organisations, WHO and other multilateral and bilateral donor agencies to ensure an effective and coordinated programme of activities.
The activities covered in this Programme include:
• Stimulating multisectoral policy development and advocacy through intercountry consultations, colloquia, the establishment of regional networks, and technical assistance;
The UNDP Regional Project, Development Implications of HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific was initiated in July 1991 as the preparatory phase of a more intensive regional effort. The project was designed to raise policymakers' awareness of the social and economic implications of the epidemic and to catalyse action among decision makers in government, business and nongovernment sectors to develop a multisectoral response to the epidemic.
To achieve its objectives the Regional Project has supported meetings on the epidemic's social and economic aspects for policy level decision-makers representing government ministries and community groups in the region. The project has also supported intercountry consultations to discuss issues of vital importance to understanding the implications of the epidemic in developing countries, including its economic impact, legal and ethical issues, and collaboration between the private sector and nongovernmental organisations.
The Regional Project has increased the knowledge of the potential consequences of the epidemic on human development in Asia and has begun to foster the commitment to develop the strategies necessary to prevent those consequences from becoming a reality.
With this publication, the United Nations Development Programme would like to share the insights gained from the Regional Project's work in the Asia and Pacific region with others working in the field of HIV and human development.
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