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Global Fund donates US$4.5 million to support WFP’S work on nutrition in Sierra Leone

Global Fund donates US$4.5 million to support WFP’S work on nutrition in Sierra Leone

FREETOWN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a donation of US$4.5 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through Sierra Leone’s National AIDS Secretariat and Ministry of Health and Sanitation to fund vital nutritional support for people affected by HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

The contribution will fund WFP’s work to ensure people living with HIV and those with tuberculosis receive adequate nutrition in order to stay healthy for longer, and to ensure their families do not suffer from lack of nutrients.

In Sierra Leone, WFP implements this nutrition programme in partnership with ChildFund International, Caritas Makeni and the Network for HIV Positives (NETHIPS). The Global Fund donation will support this work for two years.

“This generous donation will enable WFP Sierra Leone to expand ongoing assistance for vulnerable groups to ensure adherence to anti-retroviral treatment and improve tuberculosis treatment success rates,” said Gon Myers, WFP’s representative in Sierra Leone.

People living with HIV or with active tuberculosis need more calories and nutrients in their diet, but they may also have lower appetites and be less able to absorb nutrients in their food. When people living with these conditions are malnourished, the risk of death or disease increases significantly.

The contribution from the Global Fund will be used to assist approximately 8,000 people on anti-retroviral treatment (ART), as well as 3,191 HIV-positive mothers and children. It will also contribute towards providing nutritional support to 7,045 vulnerable children living in HIV-affected households, and some 7,000 people infected with tuberculosis. They will receive approximately 4,000 tons of assorted food commodities including rice, bulgur wheat, fortified cereals and vegetable oil.

At an official signing ceremony, Abdul Rahman Sesay, the deputy director of the National AIDS Secretariat, said people affected by the disease, and their families, deserved the best of care in a country where the estimated prevalence of HIV among adults is 1.7 percent.

“This project will help in providing that care,” he said.

In 2011, WFP reached 2.3 million people in 38 countries through its HIV and tuberculosis programmes. WFP is a member of UNAIDS, joining other UN agencies to help prevent new HIV infections and provide treatment and support for people living with HIV.

To learn more about WFP’s nutrition work in Sierra Leone, visit our dedicated country page: http://www.wfp.org/countries/sierra-leone

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