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#518051 - 10/06/16 10:18 AM USAID and PASMO Shut Down in Belize
Marty Online   happy

USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, and PASMO, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization, will both be pulling out of Belize in a few weeks.  Recently both have been active in HIV and AIDS prevention and education awareness and as
part of the winding down of operations, USAID held a forum today at the Radisson Hotel entitled, "Presenting results and good practices for 10 years of promoting a sustainable response to HIV in Belize." We stopped by to find out how exactly their absence in Belize will affect those vulnerable populations, such as men who have sex with men.

Here's what the Director of Health Services had to say:

Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services
"I know PASMO has closed the doors so whatever activities they were doing they would have to be subsumed somewhere else. It's not only the ministry of health I think other entities at the NAC will be looking at it. I believe PASCA is still going to be around for a next couple of weeks as I understand it but they are still wrapping up their activities as well. So some other entity or entities would have to pick up that responsibility."

Daniel Ortiz
"How long have they been in Belize do you know?"

Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services
"I don't know, I know that most of their workers particularly been highlighted over the last 3 to 5 years although those numbers were starting to decrease I know that PASMO for example for the last year was only concentrated on the Belize district. The activities they were doing in Stann Creek, Toledo and other districts were being subsumed by other entities."

"Going back to the USA and they are pulling out their local presence, how crucial has their support been financially and technically when it comes to the health sector?"

Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services
"They have been very important in the response, I don't know if we will be able to measure the response. Perhaps unfortunately they will be indirectly measured once they pull out and you see what difference they are making but I know they have been very critical to the response up to now."

"When we look at the prevention aspect that they have been investing a lot particularly in the last 2 or 3 years through agencies such as PASMO, PASCA, there can be a potential hit if we have not been able to identify as a National Aids Commission for example; who is going to do that prevention strategy. I know that we at ministry of health are cognisant of what we can do and what we can't do. So I think that there is some issues we would have to be leading with in the immediate future because I don't we have done enough planning as a country in terms of doing prevention strategies; particularly for more vulnerable population such as men having sex with men and female sex workers." 

So, while PASMO has already closed its doors, USAID is removing its physical presence in Belize, so as to provide technical assistance from a regional platform. A US Embassy Press release says that USAID has been instrumental in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Belize.

That release says, quote, "Since 2002, the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief(PEPFAR), in large part thanks to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided US 4.25 million Dollars to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Belize and over 21 organizations in Belize received support."

That release also notes that since 2010, through PEPFAR, th Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC has provided over 350 thousand US dollars in support of Belize's fight against HIV/AIDS.

Finally, since 2002, the Ambassador's HIV prevention program has provided approximately USD$284,000 in small grant funding to local community initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS.

Channel 7

#518059 - 10/06/16 12:56 PM Re: USAID and PASMO Shut Down in Belize [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
US AID had a much larger presence and their own compound next to old US Embassy in Belize City
Belize based travel specialist


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