UNDP Mozambique to Start a Project on HIV intervention for Young Key Populations

Oct 3, 2016

The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Maputo launched on September 30 2016 a regional project on strengthening legal and policy environments to reduce HIV risk and improve sexual and reproductive health of young key populations, that will be implemented with financial support of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The project is part of the “Leave No One Behind” regional initiative of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs which also funds two other consortia led by the International Organization in Migration (IOM) and the International AIDS Alliance, and will be implemented through a consortium composed of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) and the Health Economics and AIDS Research Department of the University of Kwa Zulu Natal.

Mozambique is one among the five countries where the project will be implemented under the leadership of UNDP Regional Bureau. The other four countries covered are Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar.  A total budget of eight million USD is available for the four years’ project.

In Mozambique, the rapid spread of HIV and AIDS, and the dynamic of this pandemic places serious constraints on the development of the country, as it affects young people, the age group that is economically active (15 to 49 years), who mostly contributes to the development and economic growth of the country, by increasing the number of deaths due to HIV and by putting an extra burden on national budget and expenditure on health and education services. This situation is also weakening the normal functioning of institutions and negatively impacting on human capital.

The HIV national, prevalence is estimated to be 11.5% in the population of 15 to 49 years. The Southern Region, has the highest prevalence rates in particular the Provinces of Gaza with 25.1%, Maputo with 19,8% and Maputo City 16.8%. At the Centre region Sofala presents the highest rate with 15.5%, followed by Manica with 15,3%, Zambézia with 12.6% and Tete with 7%. The North Region presents lowest prevalence with Cabo Delgado 9.4%; Nampula 4.6% and Niassa 3,7%.

Young key populations are even more vulnerable to HIV and other reproductive health challenges including limited capacity of major stakeholders to address issues of Young Key Populations and limited data and information on Young Key Population related HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health issues.

This project, aims to address this problem by implementing a set of interventions that focus on strengthening the capacity of national governments to put in place appropriate policies, developing mechanisms for engagement of young key populations in national and regional policy processes, and generating and applying human rights and HIV/Sexual Reproductive Health related indicators and milestones for young key population focused interventions.

During the well-attended ceremony the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative, Marcia de Castro, in her remarks, said that the project will herald a new approach in addressing inequalities and in strengthening access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights for those young people who are extremely vulnerable in our communities.  She underlined that in Mozambique UNDP will continue building in the gains and work of Human Rights associated to HIV.

In Mozambique, some of activities supported by UNDP HIV and AIDS are the dissemination of the New HIV and AIDS Political Declaration on Fast Track HIV and AIDS, the development of HIV Regulation of the New Law 19/2014, dialogue among stakeholders on stigma and discrimination and gender based violence.