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‘US committed to working with Zim govt’

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BY SHARON SIBINDI
THE United States says it is committed to working with government in the fight against HIV and Aids through various programmes meant to empower vulnerable children, girls and women.

Acting US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Thomas Hastings, disclosed this during a tour of US-supported projects in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

“When it comes to assistance, particularly the last 20 years in Africa, health is where we have put the majority of the effort. PEPFAR has been in Zimbabwe for 17 to 18 years. Overall, US assistance to the people of Zimbabwe in 2021 was worth US$400 million. It’s actually the highest ever assistance in recent years,” Hastings told journalists.

The United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) has been implementing comprehensive HIV programmes in Zimbabwe since 2006.

Somewhere around US$200 million is HIV and Aids intervention in general. The DREAMS programme, specifically was US$40 million last year and the other set of programmes that I was visiting today is what we call the OVC (orphans and vulnerable children),” he said.

Hastings urged developing countries like Zimbabwe to use their resources to fund various development projects and not always rely on donor support.

“The long-term solution should not be foreign countries like my own, supporting all this work,” he said.

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