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Gates Foundation commits more funds for AIDS initiative

Special Correspondent

Photo: PTI

AID FOR INDIA: Union Health Secretary P.K. Hota and Tadataka Yamada, president, Gates Foundation's Global Health Programme, sign an agreement in New Delhi on Tuesday.

NEW DELHI: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Union Government, committing an investment of $23 million over the next three years for India's HIV Prevention Response. This is in addition to the $58 million committed to Avahan, the Gates Foundation's India AIDS Initiative, spread over five years and involving a total of $258 million.

Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary P. K. Hota and Gates Foundation's Global Health Programme president Tadataka Yamada signed the agreement. With this $23 million, Avahan will support training of the staff at the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and State AIDS Control Societies to enhance their skills in project and financial management.

Besides, it will provide support to enhance interventions with key populations — sex workers, clients of sex workers, homosexuals and injecting drug-users. The funds will be deployed between 2007 and 2009, and NACO and Avahan will jointly devise the implementation strategy.

Launched in 2003, Avahan focusses on Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland.

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