NGO pumps $35m in AIDS fight


PACT, a non-profit international development organization which left Zambia in 2011 because of lack of funding, is back in the country and is currently implementing a US$35 million five-year project aimed at increasing the adoption of high impact HIV services and protective behaviours  among risk populations. The organization resumed the  project called Zambia Community HIV Prevention Project (ZCHPP) on November 30, 2015, with funding from United States for International Development (USAID). Pact president and chief executive officer Mark Viso said his organization was happy to be back in Zambia to continue the work of partnering with local groups in response to HIV/AIDS. Mr Viso said the project was operating with the support of six local partners as well as two international partners and one university to deliver integrated services in 25 targeted districts in six provinces that have the greatest potential to contribute to the overall goal of reduction in new HIV infections in Zambia. He was speaking at a media briefing at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone on Sunday afternoon ahead of the planned board meeting with partners, staff and other stakeholders. “We are so pleased to announce that we are back in Zambia and we have partnered with local Zambian organizations and institutions to build their capacity to plan, implement and monitor their own quality programmes to stop the spread of HIV,” Mr Viso said. The Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) are some of the partners that his organisation would be working with in Livingstone. ZCHPP chief of party Jackson Thoya said his organization was complimenting Government programmes and strategies in the response to HIV/AIDS. Mr Thoya said the project was targeting  64,000 adolescent and young women as well as more than one million of the key populations. “We work closely with Government structures. Our programmes are additional resources we are putting into Zambia. Some of the provinces to be covered are Copperbelt, Lusaka, Central and Southern. We have a target to achieve in all the districts,” Mr Thoya said. He said the organization would also train community counsellors who would go door-to-door to provide services to the communities.