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Peace Corps Volunteers To Work On HIV/AIDS Projects In Ethiopia

Armen Hareyan's picture

Forty-three Peace Corpsvolunteers this weekend will begin two-year posts in Ethiopia that willfocus on HIV/AIDS-related education and awareness projects, theorganization announced last week, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribunereports. The group of volunteers is the first that Peace Corps hasstationed in Ethiopia since 1999, when the organization halted programsduring a border war between the country and neighboring Eritrea, the AP/Tribune reports.

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Theagency's programs will include working directly with Ethiopia's healthministry on HIV/AIDS programs in western and northern areas of thecountry, the AP/Star Tribune reports (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/4). About 1.4% of Ethiopians ages 15 to 49, or one million people, are HIV-positive, according to the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey 2005, which was released in September 2006 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/21/06).

HenryMcKoy, Africa director for the Peace Corps, on Wednesday said theorganization has been preparing to launch programs in Ethiopia for twoyears. He added that the new programs will give the Peace Corps a"chance to renew our partnership, to build strong ties" with Ethiopia.The agency plans to have 100 volunteers in Ethiopia within one year.

Morethan one-third of all Peace Corps volunteers, or about 2,800volunteers, work in 25 African countries. McKoy said the Peace Corps'return to Ethiopia will not be affected by a bill (HR 2003) that would require the Ethiopian government to improve its human rights record or risk losing U.S. assistance (AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/4). The House last week by voice vote passed the bill, and it has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (HR 2003 bill history, 10/5).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.