There is no better time than World AIDS Day to recommit ourselves to achieving an AIDS-free generation.
MCC joins agencies across the U.S. Government in the fight against HIV/AIDS – including the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – on World AIDS Day and every day, because a healthy population is critical to sustained economic growth and poverty reduction.
Through MCC’s country-led development approach, partner countries are empowered to identify the greatest barriers to their development. For some partner countries, the fight to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS is at the forefront of their national development strategy. MCC supports these goals through several programs:
Lesotho Health Sector Project
MCC’s first compact with Lesotho included a $122.4 million Health Sector Project aimed at strengthening the delivery of essential health services to address HIV/AIDS and other diseases by improving the country’s health care infrastructure and human resources. This MCC financed infrastructure will support Lesotho’s efforts to significantly increase access to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) throughout the country. In Lesotho, more women than men are infected with HIV/AIDS and at a younger age, so efforts included a particular focus on maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Project efforts were closely coordinated with HIV/AIDS activities funded by PEPFAR.
Cabo Verde HIV/AIDS Awareness Programs
HIV/AIDS awareness efforts for contracted workers and nearby local communities are a common component of large civil works contracts in MCC compact countries – especially for construction and road activities in rural areas and regions where the risk of increased transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections is high.
For example, as part of MCC’s $110 million compact with the Government of Cabo Verde, Millennium Challenge Account-Cabo Verde worked with the country’s National Committee to Fight HIV/AIDS to develop an awareness campaign implemented by contractors building roads, bridges and a port. The program gave construction workers and local community members access to informational sessions, free and voluntary HIV/AIDS testing, and follow-up counseling.
MCC’s Partnership with PEPFAR
MCC and PEPFAR are partnering to invest $21.8 million in Country Data Collaboratives for Local Impact in sub-Saharan Africa that will use data on HIV/AIDS, global health, gender equality and economic growth to improve programs and policies. The program will be completed in collaboration with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
Country Data Collaboratives will improve existing data and make it more accessible, strengthen data analysis and visualization, enhance opportunities for citizen contribution to data, cultivate talent, and ensure mutual accountability when implementing development aid to enable greater local impact.
MCC Indicators on Health
Investing in health fosters human and economic development. To capture countries’ investment in its people through the delivery of quality public health care, two indicators on MCC’s annual scorecards focus on health:
- The total public expenditure on health indicator measures the government’s commitment to investing in the health and well-being of its people.
- The immunization rate indicator measures a government’s commitment to providing essential public health services and reducing child mortality.
Learn more about MCC’s focus on improving health as a driver of sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
Read the original post on the Millenium Challenge Corporation web site.