Global Health

Dr. Simon Megiroo examines Stephen Kipuyo at Selian Hospital in Tanzania.

Dr. Simon Megiroo listens to Stephen Kipuyo's lungs during a check-up at Selian Hospital in Tanzania. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS

Catholic Relief Services is leading the way to build local capacity and work in partnership with civil society, especially the local Church health infrastructure, to provide antiretroviral treatment support as Congress set forth when it reauthorized the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2008.

Groundbreaking legislation in the United States established the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003. It was reauthorized in 2008 and includes the following important provisions:

  1. Authorizes $48 billion over five years to provide prevention, care, treatment and support services to people affected by HIV, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries, especially in Africa.
  2. Bolsters food and nutrition programs that are vital for HIV-affected populations.
  3. Invests in growing the healthcare workforce in PEPFAR countries.
  4. Maintains an effective conscience clause that allows religious organizations such as CRS to participate in PEPFAR without compromising adherence to our moral teachings.
  5. Ensures that PEPFAR-supported prevention programs receive balanced funding that promote abstinence before marriage and mutual fidelity within marriage.

CRS Policy Position

CRS is working to ensure that the provisions of the reauthorized PEPFAR program will be implemented according to the legislation. Specifically, CRS will focus on ensuring that:

  1. funds are made available to provide continuing treatment to those in the program and to successfully scale up given enormous budgetary pressures,
  2. proposal requests are desinged so that faith-based groups can fully participate, and
  3. the program is transitioned to local partners and services providers, as increasingly required by the U.S. government.

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