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Fighting AIDS Through Better Aid Skills

Fighting AIDS through better aid skills

One of out every four aid dollars given to the region remains unspent because of poor planning or lack of capacity, says the Asia Pacific Alliance.

"A United Nations study has found that about 25% of development assistance to Asia and the Pacific remains unused because of poor planning or lack of capacity to make use of the resources," says Dr Gill Greer, Executive Director, New Zealand Family Planning Association, an APA member. Delegates from 13 Asia Pacific countries began meeting yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand, 13 Asia Pacific countries to discuss ways to increase skills in handling aid.

"Together, we have an opportunity to save and improve the quality of life of millions of people in the region," says Dr Greer.

A major obstacle is the ability to handle all the paperwork that comes from dealing with multiple aid sources.

"Many recipient country governments and NGOs cannot cope with the varied reporting systems required by donors for accountability and documentation of impact," reads an APA report.

Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation chief executive Maire Bopp is attending the conference to report on her experiences since founding PIAF in 2002 and learn from others. "It is appropriate for PIAF to attend this conference because I first raised the idea for this foundation at the fourth APA conference in Christchurch in 2001," says Bopp.

"Learning new skills to handle aid funds means lives saved from the threat of AIDS," she says. "With more than 20,000 people around the regions, improved handling of aid could save thousands of lives."

Delegates at the APA "Building Towards The Future" conference come from Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

PIAF attendance comes under theme 4.1 of its current strategic plan for 2002 - 2005 for "Positive Action and Prevention." Output 4.1 calls for "The interests of PLWAH are represented at district, national, regional and international fora, and, in the media."

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pacific aids news is delivered under theme 3 of the pacific islands AIDS foundation strategic plan for 2002-2005. output 3.1 calls for "information on regional, national and grassroots initiatives targeting PLWHA regularly updated and disseminated."

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