The United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has granted over $260,000 to 25 community based organizations for HIV prevention among other interventions.

In a statement issued by US Embassy Public Affairs Officer Janet Deutsch today, the projects would also include support for orphans and vulnerable children.

“On September 19, 2017, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) awarded grants to 25 community-based organizations totaling more than $260,000 and covering nine Zambian provinces through its U.S. PEPFAR small grants program. The projects work in the areas of HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and democracy and governance related to the national HIV response,” read the release.

Speaking at the award ceremony, PEPFAR Coordinator Bethany Baxter highlighted that community-based work was essential for a sustainable HIV response.

“You recognized unmet needs in your communities and created solutions. Many of your organizations are entirely staffed by volunteers—dedicated community members. We hope with this initial support your programs will grow and thrive,” Baxter told recipient organizations.
“This year’s small grants program included projects from Eastern, Western, Luapula, Northern, and Muchinga Provinces for the first time and increased funding by almost one million Kwacha, or $100,000, over last year’s program.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, National AIDS Council General Director Fortune Chibamba said; “These may be small grants, but believe me, when directed to 25 organizations in nine out of ten provinces of Zambia, these grants have a huge potential to make a difference in people’s lives. The recipients are organizations that are anchored in the community where the need is profound and are meant to benefit the people that need genuine support.”

Zambia has received more than $3 billion from the U.S. government’s PEPFAR program for its national HIV response since 2004.