Sweden pledges SEK 400m to "end AIDS"
Sweden has pledged SEK 400m to support a raft of UN-led sexual health initiatives in eastern and southern Africa in a bid to "end AIDS".
The four-year programme, announced on World AIDS Day, will "boost efforts to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and to end AIDS," the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
The funding will support the work of United Nations Population Fund, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization to "reduce unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, new HIV infections, maternal mortality and sexual and gender-based violence."
The programme will initially focus its work in Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the statement said.
While the rate of new HIV infections in the region has fallen 29 per cent between 2010 to 2016, to some 790,000, SIDA says that a target of reducing infections by 90 per cent by 2030 will not be possible without "urgent and co-ordinated action at all levels".
Established in 1988, World AIDS Day is held on December 1 every year.