Sunday, 14 April, 2024
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US to renew PEPFAR funding despite SA, Russia ties

American senators visiting South Africa last week to assess the impact of a major US-funded HIV-Aids scheme said they would renew the programme, despite the country’s ties with Russia and its recent joint, controversial five-day naval exercise with the former Soviet Union and China.

The event marked the one-year anniversary of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine and was launched off the KZN coast, despite public objections and calls to be postponed or cancelled, reports News24.

The US visitors were in South Africa to mark 20 years since the launch of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, or PEPFAR.

PEPFAR was launched in February 2003 by former US President George W Bush to combat the spread of Aids in 15 of the hardest-hit areas of Africa and the Caribbean.

With an initial budget of $15bn over its first five years, PEPFAR has now invested more than $100bn in HIV-Aids programmes and saved some 21m lives globally.

One of the group, Senator Lindsey Graham, told a news conference he would do all he could to fight for the refunding of the programme and “get a big vote”, despite the “problems going on here with the Russians”.

“You do joint naval exercises with Russia and China on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, you gonna have problems,” he said.

 

News24 article – US senators vow to renew South Africa Aids deal despite Russia ties (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

New PEPFAR boss urges global health community to learn from African research

 

SA will send team to Washington to lobby PEPFAR funding cut

 

PEPFAR cuts may cost 9m years of lost life in SA and Ivory Coast

 

PEPFAR has had 'unprecedented' effect

 

 

 

 

 

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