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Africa AIDS Crisis Worsening

by U.S. Dept of State Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2002 at 2:06 PM

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is playing a key role in the worsening health crisis in Zambia and southern Africa, according to James Morris, the U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for the humanitarian crisis in six southern African countries.

12 September 2002

Zambian Society Devastated by HIV/AIDS

By Lindsey Brooks

Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- The HIV/AIDS pandemic is playing a key role in the worsening

health crisis in Zambia and southern Africa, according to James Morris,

the U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for the humanitarian crisis in

six southern African countries.

"HIV/AIDS is devastating Zambian society," said Morris on September 9

while visiting the country, where an estimated 20 percent of the adult

population is infected with HIV. "Tens of thousands of people have

already died and many, many more are infected. One of the tragic

consequences is a very rapid rise in the number of orphans, as well as

households headed by children and elderly grandparents."

Morris, according to a U.N. press release made available in Washington, is

traveling on a two-week U.N. mission to six affected countries in southern

Africa: Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

"In a home I visited today, I met 19 people, of all ages, living in two

small rooms. The grandmother had the entire burden of support on her

shoulders, and was doing everything possible to get the family through

each and every day," Morris said after a field visit on the outskirts of

Lusaka, on the last day of his three-day mission to Zambia.

In July, the release notes, the U.N. country team began an appeal for

million to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Zambia. However, the release

warned, only million has been received for the 2.3 million people at

risk. The total U.N. appeal for the six affected countries is 1

million, of which 8 million has been pledged so far.

Crucial activities by the United Nations and its donor and nongovernmental

organization partners, in support of the government, include providing

adequate food relief as well as access to water and sanitation, heath,

nutrition, and agricultural and education support services.

Over the past year, the situation in Zambia -- one of the world's poorest

countries -- has become "critical," according to the release. A complex

mix of climatic, economic, and social issues has left millions of people

without adequate food and water.

The press release says that over the past 15 years, millions of people in

Zambia have been affected by HIV/AIDS. "While it is obvious that erratic

weather has contributed to the current food crisis in Zambia, it is also

clear that one of the key underlying factors is the depletion of human

resources as a result of HIV/AIDS," it says. The disease has eroded

agricultural productivity by eliminating the able-bodied men and women who

produce the nation's food.

People in both rural and urban areas are feeling the hardships of the

crisis. Many of the poorest people in urban areas cannot afford to buy

maize at current market prices and without food, they lack the strength to

fight HIV/AIDS or other diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and


Morris also met with Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa during the

Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

(The Washington File is a product of the Office of International

Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)

Unless we act, the global AIDS pandemic will claim the lives of 68 million people by 2020, devastating societies all over the globe, particularly in Africa. This holocaust must be stopped. The Global AIDS Alliance is committed to an aggressive campaign that says it’s time to: Donate the Dollars, Treat the People and Drop the Debt! Join Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy to HIV/AIDS in Africa and honored guests at a fundraiser for the Global AIDS Alliance on Saturday, October 12, at The Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067. Program and reception to begin at 7:30 pm. No tickets required. Please RSVP to

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 14 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Zambia - a study in socialism fred freedom Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2002 at 9:22 PM
M'lud KP Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003 at 2:04 PM
Question Aids Russell Purcell Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 7:01 AM
What Epidemic? Mr. Smith Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 8:12 AM
LOL fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 9:48 AM
TROLL ALERT fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 1:15 PM
South Africa HIV rate 'falling' David Lane Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 1:55 PM
Not an std - Sudy results Aletta Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 2:17 PM
ROFL fresca Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 at 2:19 PM
denialism BitMap Saturday, Nov. 08, 2003 at 9:23 PM
Old diseases, new name Paul King Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004 at 12:41 PM
AIDS DISSIDENT LIES EXPOSED! HIV KILLERS! GOD (gaining on dissidents) Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004 at 10:26 PM
AID$ is a money making myth TRUTH Saturday, Oct. 16, 2004 at 11:31 AM

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