We also use this opportunity to remember friends and loved ones whom we lost to this dreaded disease, stand with millions of others living with HIV/AIDS, and renew our commitment to preventing the further spread of this virus.
We, in African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) would like to use this great opportunity today to call on His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Executive Governor of Imo State to intervene in the crisis bedeviling the Imo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (Imo SACA).
For the past four years now, the activities of the agencies have been grounded in Imo State following a number of internal issues, ranging from the transition from a Committee to an Agency and the incessant removal and replacement of the Director-General of the Agency.
We are bringing this to the fore because; we believe that His Excellency might not know about this development, which has drastically affected the access to the World Bank grants and disbursement of funds to NGOs and CBOs for the implementation of various HIV prevention projects in the State.
As partners and funders of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and all State Agencies for the Control of AIDS, including Imo SACA, the World Bank annually releases grants for various state-and community-level projects. Unfortunately, Imo State has not been able to access and utilize its funds because of the internal issues yet to be resolved in the agency.
As the 2013 theme for World AIDS Day is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation,” we hereby wish your Excellency can set up a panel of inquiry into this matter to ensure that it is speedily resolved to enable the agency bounce back and join others across the nation in the fight against the spread of new infections in the State.
AFRYDEF, being an NGO based in Imo State and active in HIV/AIDS programming, we cannot continue to shy away from facing this challenge head on as silence supports the thrive of HIV/AIDS in the society. Now is the time for your Excellency to intervene as we pledge our usual support to partner with the State in this struggle to reduce the further spread of HIV/AIDS in Imo State.
God bless His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha!
God bless Imo People!!
God bless African Youth Development Foundation!!!
HON. REMY CHIDI CHUKWUNYERE,