Michael Harvey, the Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development, says Nigeria will remain the largest beneficiary under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief programme in the world.
Harvey stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the foundation-laying ceremony of the “Warehouse-in-a-Box” project, a collaboration between USAID and the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis, AIDS and Malaria.
He explained that the warehouse would provide ample space for safe and quality medications for Nigerians in need.
He said: “Let me reassure you that the US Government will remain deeply committed and deeply involved in helping Nigeria to tackle the challenges in combating the HIV/AIDS.
“Nigerian will continue to be USAID largest PEPFAR partner in the world in combating HIV/AIDS.
“And Nigeria will continue to be the largest PEPFAR programme, which USAID has in the world.”
Harvey said the programme was a Nigeria-US Governments joint project, which was being jointly funded by the USAID and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.
According to him, it is important to build a national supply chain to ensure proper storage of the health products for maintenance of quality drugs.
The head of mission said he was proud of the robust partnership between the US and Nigeria over the project.
He said the partnership had spanned many years.
He expressed the hope that the partnership would reflect in the speed at which the project would be completed for the benefits of the Nigerian people.
Harvey said the project would be completed and inaugurated between the next three to five months.
According to him, the project will maintain the shelf life of drugs, which can be lost due to adverse environmental factors like temperature, humidity and exposure to light.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that PEPFAR was launched in 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS, with funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
NAN also reports that PEPFAR is the largest commitment made so far by any nation to combat a single disease in history.
Currently, PEPFAR is present in 20 countries, working with host countries to provide treatment, prevention and care for people living with HIV/AIDS and training health care providers.
Report says that USAID is contributing $20 million to the execution of the project.