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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Request to global AIDS fund for support pending: official

Request to global AIDS fund for support pending: official

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Patients are treated at the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control.

Officials in charge of HIV/AIDS reduction say they are waiting to see whether a recently submitted proposal will be approved.

CAMBODIA has asked the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for US$145 million to help reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS over a five-year period, according to a government official in charge of HIV/AIDS reduction.

Mean Chhivun, director of the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD (NCHADS), said Tuesday that the government on May 30 submitted its five-year proposal, which he said would be implemented between 2011 and 2015.

"Now we are waiting for an outcome," he said, adding that the government expected to hear a decision on the proposal by September.

Beatrice Bernescut, a communications officer for the Global Fund, said all eligible proposals would be evaluated by a panel in August, and that a funding decision would be made in November.

The most recent results report from the fund indicated that HIV prevalence among pregnant women had decreased from 2.9 percent in 2002 to 1.2 percent in 2006.

Mean Chhivun said those figures were incorrect, and that the percentage had fallen from 2.1 percent in 1999 to 1.1 percent in 2006.

He said roughly 60,000 Cambodians were currently living with the HIV/AIDS virus. As of June 2009, around 34,385 of them were receiving antiretroviral drugs.

He added that NCHADS would begin a nationwide HIV/AIDS prevalence survey at the end of this year.

Mean Chhivun said the government had received $45 million from the Global Fund to implement HIV/AIDS programmes from January 2009 to 2011. The Global Fund has previously provided funding for tuberculosis and malaria programmes as well.

Different funding channels
Health Minister Mam Bunheng said funding from NGOs like the Global Fund had in the past been crucial in supplementing government support for health-related initiatives.

"Besides that, Cambodia gets support from other countries through bilateral cooperation, such as with Japan, the US and others," he added.

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