Haiti: UNAIDS strengthening partnerships to ‘make the money work’
17 May 2007
During a high-level mission to Haiti in May, the UNAIDS delegation headed by Deputy Executive Director Michel Sidibe underlined its support to Fondation SOGEBANK, the Global Fund’s Principal Recipient in Haiti, in helping ensure greater coordination of resources for AIDS and developing a culture of multi-sectoral partnership within the country’s AIDS response.
“Haiti has made significant progress on AIDS – with Fondation SOGEBANK playing a key role in developing the response in the country. Now we must work to ensure that all resources and funding for AIDS in Haiti are reaching the people that need them—to ‘make the money work’— every sector needs to be involved,” Mr Sidibe said.
As a first event in a series of initiatives to help develop multi-sectoral partnerships in the country’s AIDS response, Fondation SOGEBANK and UNAIDS gathered a group of around 40 CEOs from leading Haitian companies to discuss the perception of AIDS among leading managers and ways in which the business sector can become more involved in AIDS issues.
The group was presented with a study launched in Haiti in 2005, in preparation of the UNGASS 2008 report, which examines the response to AIDS by 20 of the largest Haitian companies.
The study, the first of its kind to provide a baseline report on business response to AIDS, shows that the Haitian business sector is becoming progressively more involved in the response and a number of companies are implementing HIV prevention activities. The study found that Haiti’s labour-intensive workplaces such as factories have a greater awareness of, and a more active response to AIDS than do banks and similar work sites.
Emphasizing the need for increased action on AIDS within the private sector, Sidibe urged the CEOs to use the study’s findings to help shape their future initiatives. “This study shows us work needs to be done in the areas of policy, legislation and cooperation within businesses. We therefore have to create synergies between governmental actions and the private sector in order to intensify the response,” he said.
To elicit a greater response from industry, UNAIDS and Fondation SOGEBANK will continue consultations with business leaders, encouraging information-sharing, joint resource mobilization and a continuous and open dialogue.
“UNAIDS will seek to assist the private sector in establishing ways for an effective, open cooperation to ensure business response that addresses the impacts and dangers of AIDS on economic growth and development of Haiti,” Sidibe said.
Haiti has the highest HIV prevalence rates in the Caribbean region: 3.8% among adults between 15 and 49 years old.
More information on Haiti
Visit the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Visit Foundation SOGEBANK (in french)