UN envoy in Malawi to assess AIDS programmes

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UNLILONGWE (AFP) - The United Nations' special envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa accused the world's wealthiest countries on Sunday of failing to deliver on promises to increase aid to the most impoverished continent.

"Where is the G8 money ? Where is the promise ... The world is running out of patience. Why has the G8 defaulted?" Stephen Lewis told reporters in Malawi.

The world's seven richest nations and Russia pledged at a summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005 to provide universal access to treatment for AIDS sufferers in Africa until 2010.

The G8 nations had also promised to help support children orphaned by AIDS on the continent and double their donations to the Global Fund.

But the envoy, speaking after visiting a day-care orphanage near Lilongwe which is bankrolled by the Stephen Lewis Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations children's fund UNICEF, said the funding had not materialised.

"I cannot understand why programmes in Africa are not being funded when in 2005 the G8 promised to double its funding to 25 billion dollars by 2010," he said on the first day of a three-day visit to Malawi.

"Something is wrong. Donors should make good on their promises and what is happening is unaccaptable.

"You have two million vulnerable children in Malawi and the country is struggling. Where is the promise?"

A government official said Malawi was struggling to assist the 2.4 million children who are either orphans or classified as vulnerable.

"The orphanage problem is so huge for a country with a small economy like Malawi," Cyrus Jeke, deputy director for children affairs in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, told Lewis.

Around 14 percent of Malawi's 13 million people are infected with HIV, according to official figures.

The pop star Madonna was awarded interim adoption rights earlier this month to a Malawian baby who was being brought up in an AIDS orphanage after the death of his mother.

source

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on October 29, 2006 9:21 PM.

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