US Em­bassy pours M1.6m to­wards HIV/AIDS fight

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

THE United States Em­bassy in Maseru yes­ter­day awarded 11 lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions with grants worth a com­bined $150 000 (M1 631 mil­lion) to fight HIV/AIDS at the Amer­i­can em­bassy in Maseru.

The grants are funded through the US Pres­i­dent’s Emer­gency Plan for AIDS Re­lief (PEPFAR), which sup­ports com­mu­nity ini­ti­ated projects and aims to strengthen health ser­vices de­liv­ery in com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by HIV/AIDS by es­tab­lish­ing projects of their choice.

The US Am­bas­sador to Le­sotho, Matthew Har­ring­ton, said each year the PEPFAR pro­gram sets aside $150 000 to sup­port com­mu­ni­ties across Le­sotho through its Small Grants Pro­gram.

“This pro­gram helps lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions strengthen the care and sup­port they pro­vide to HIV/AIDS pa­tients and to fam­i­lies af­fected by the dis­ease,” Am­bas­sador Har­ring­ton said. He said in 2014 the com­pe­ti­tion for fund­ing from the PEPFAR Small Grants pro­gram was fierce.

“We re­ceived more than 75 ap­pli­ca­tions for fund­ing and nar­rowed it down to you, the top 11. You are here to­day be­cause we be­lieve in your projects. We be­lieve they will have a real im­pact on the com­mu­ni­ties you serve,” said the diplo­mat.

“As you work to im­ple­ment your im­por­tant project, please keep in mind that this grant is not a blank check.

“The fund­ing for this pro­gram has been made pos­si­ble by the gen­eros­ity of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, and one of my most im­por­tant re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is mak­ing sure that the Amer­i­can peo­ple’s as­sis­tance is well spent and has a pos­i­tive im­pact.”

He said the ap­pli­cants’ pro­pos­als were se­lected be­cause they had faith in their abil­ity and in­ten­tion to use the funds wisely.

“Each of you to­day has pledged to man­age the funds care­fully, us­ing good ac­count­ing prac­tices, sub­mit­ting re­ports as re­quired and scrupu­lously doc­u­ment­ing ev­ery ex­pense. We, in the em­bassy, look for­ward to work­ing closely with you dur­ing the course of your project to help you ful­fil that crit­i­cal com­mit­ment.”

The se­lected or­gan­i­sa­tions to re­ceive the grants are Bana Ba Rona based in Berea, Botleng Sup­port Group in Maseru, At­lanta Pig­gery Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety in Berea and As­so­ci­a­tion of Women in Small Busi­ness in Maseru to men­tion a few.

US Am­bas­sador to Le­sotho Matthew Har­ring­ton

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