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Q&A about reorganisation of UNAIDS in the Caribbean

Submitted by unaidsadmin on Thu, 2016-01-07 10:06 - 0 Comments

How is UNAIDS reconfiguring its presence the Caribbean?

The Sustainable Development Goals highlight the need for greater attention to Small Island Developing States as well as regional approaches to achieving development, equity, inclusion and results. This new agenda has prompted an organisational reconfiguration to provide the most cost-effective support to the Caribbean and its member states.

As such, as with other United Nations organisations in the region, there is now one Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Regional Support Team for UNAIDS. This office is based in Panama and is headed by Dr. Cesar Nunez. A Sub-regional Office has been established in Kingston, Jamaica. The Caribbean Regional Support Team which had been based in Trinidad and Tobago since 2001 was closed effective December 31, 2015.

 

Will UNAIDS’ support to the region change?

UNAIDS will continue to perform its usual coordinating and technical support roles in relation to all 16 Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Does this mean that the UNAIDS Jamaica office is closing?

No. The Sub-regional Office will be located together with the existing UNAIDS country team which has been based in Kingston, Jamaica since 2005. The Director of the Sub-regional Office will also serve as UNAIDS Country Director for Jamaica. This position has not yet been filled. At present the Officer in Charge for UNAIDS Jamaica is Dr. Nkhensani Mathabathe

 

Why was Jamaica chosen to host the new Sub-regional Office?

Jamaica was chosen to be the base of this Sub-regional Office due to its leadership in the AIDS response at the national, regional and international levels. This has been demonstrated by, among other factors, the Honourable Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s contribution to the UNAIDS Lancet Commission; Her Worship the Mayor Angela Brown Burke’s participation in the Fast Track Cities Initiative; and the considerable work done around the financial sustainability of the HIV response by the Jamaica Ministry of Health. Jamaica is also home to a vibrant, vocal community of civil society organisations.

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The UNAIDS team offers the Caribbean the broad expertise of cosponsors and other UN organisations in areas such as program development and management, women and child health, education, legal networking, community care initiatives and resource mobilisation. The goal is an expanded response to HIV in the region with the world’s second highest HIV prevalence.