Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


HIV/Aids threat to Pacific grows

Tuesday 18 May

HIV/Aids threat to Pacific grows

New Zealand is to contribute a further $3 million to fight HIV/Aids as the disease continues to pose a significant threat to Pacific Island countries.

Health Minister Annette King made the announcement today from Geneva, where she is attending the World Health Assembly.

Hosting a meeting of Pacific health ministers, Ms King introduced Dr Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS. Dr Piot was in New Zealand earlier in the year to show that Asia and the Pacific are now clearly on the radar screen for the United Nations to upscale its programmes on HIV/AIDS in the region. UNAIDS has to date focused its work in Africa where the disease has taken a devastating toll on young adult populations.

NZAID, the New Zealand government’s aid agency is currently involved in HIV/AIDS and reproductive health programmes in the Pacific. Current NZAID funding for these programmes is over $6 million.

The extra $3 million announced today will cover a one-off grant of $1 million to the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), $1 million to the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and $1 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to address reproductive health issues, including HIV/AIDS.

Known HIV infection rates are highest and accelerating in Papua New Guinea, where there are at least 7,000 reported cases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates the figure is closer to 20,000.

While the rates are low in other Pacific Island countries, there are indications of sharp increases in countries like Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands reflecting a potential spread in the region.

“We need to act quickly to stem the spread of the disease in our own region. In Africa HIV/AIDS has wreaked havoc on the economically productive youth of African countries. That would be devastating for the economies of smaller Pacific Island countries,” Ms King said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages