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Bill Gates foundation announces USD 23 mn aid for India

In a bid to provide further support to the high-risk population vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today announced an assistance of 23 million dollars to India for better programme management and technical capacity building. An agreement to this effect was signed here between the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and the Foundation. "This announcement comes at a critical juncture because of the epidemic's current trajectory which demonstrates the need to scale-up prevention efforts," Union Health Secretary P K Hota said. Tadataka Yamada, President of the Gates Foundation's Global Health programme, announced that the foundation will invest 23 million dollars over the next three years to enhance the capacity of India's HIV prevention response.

"We are proud to be a partner with the government of India and we are pleased that Avahan and NACO are working together to transition learnings and best practices to bolster the national response," said Yamada. Avahan is the 258 million dollar HIV prevention programme of the Foundation in India. The focus will be on programme management and technical capacity at the national and state levels, said Yamada, who will spend a few days visiting Avahan's HIV prevention interventions in south India.

This is not the start of Avahan- the India AIDS Prevention initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates. The foundation announced $47 million in March,2004 to India.

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