The US embassy in Abidjan has confirmed that the US Secretary of Health and Human Services will arrive Wednesday in Ivory Coast to visit projects fighting AIDS and other diseases. Michael Leavitt will spend two days in Ivory Coast -- where the United States is a large contributor to the fight against AIDS -- to visit organisations fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and avian flu, said an embassy statement.
The US president’s emergency plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) earmarked 120 million dollars (80 million euros) to help fight against HIV/AIDS in Ivory Coast from April 2008 to March 2009, according to the embassy.
This represents a 43 percent increase over the previous year’s budget.
The five-year PEPFAR plan is entering its final year and set aside 15 billion dollars to fight HIV/AIDS in over 100 countries. It prioritised Ivory Coast as one of the world’s 15 worst affected countries.
The US embassy in Abidjan said a second five-year project is likely to be approved by the US government this year.