The World Food Program (WFP) has warned that thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS in Burkina Faso could soon face cuts in food assistance because of a funding shortage.
Local WFP representative Jean-Charles Dei said, the shortage threatens more than 12,000 patients and other people affected by HIV/AIDS. The program has received only 27% of its funding needs, which would be sufficient to feed only 3000 people.
The beneficiaries of the program distribute 117 tons of food assistance each month to vulnerable HIV/AIDS-affected groups, including corn, beans, cooking oil and corn soya blend.
Dei said, "I am very sad because the international community is not reacting. The situation is more than worrying because people living with HIV and who are on antiretroviral drugs need nutritional balance to survive."
Mamadou Sawadogo, head of the National Network of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS said, Patients receiving antiretroviral drugs could give up the treatment in response to aid cuts, as side effects including nausea and diarrhea could prove too much for patients who aren't receiving enough food.
The U.N estimates show that adult prevalence rate in 2001 was 6.5% and has reduced to less than 1% and there are 110,000 people living with HIV in Burkina Faso.
"For some donors there is nothing more to do in this country. But that would be a big mistake because if we give up, the few cases that remain could cause a resurgence of the sickness," he said.