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PEPFAR Committed To Programs Aimed At Children To Reach AIDS-Free Generation

Citing data on how HIV/AIDS has affected children worldwide, whether directly or through the death of one or both parents, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, who also heads the State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy, writes in the agency’s “DipNote” blog that children are vulnerable “to the social, emotional, economic, and environmental effects that HIV and AIDS has on families, communities, and countries.” He continues, “This is why [PEPFAR] has set aside 10 percent of its funding to address the diverse, complex, and often critical needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Thus far, nearly five million children worldwide have benefited from PEPFAR’s efforts.” Noting that “in July 2012, PEPFAR issued new guidance for OVC programming, and on World AIDS Day last year, we released a blueprint that outlines a global path toward achieving an AIDS-free generation,” Goosby writes, “The interventions outlined in these documents also support the coordinated objectives in the recently released U.S. Government Action Plan for Children in Adversity, a government-wide plan for vulnerable children, while maintaining PEPFAR’s important mandate to serve children in the epidemic and their unique needs.” He concludes, “OVC programs are vital to achieving an AIDS-free generation and preventing child deaths and lost opportunities. They are truly a smart investment in our future” (5/1).