Loading
US axes AIDS relief funding to Church in South Africa
By Estefania Aguirre
US axes AIDS relief funding to Church in South Africa

.- The United States has stopped funding AIDS relief programs in South Africa organized by the Catholic Church, handing the money instead over to the country's government.

“We have a problem because the American funding, the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, known as PEPFAR is coming to an end,” Benedictine Monk Gerhard Lagleder told Vatican Radio.

“I am in Europe today to beg,” added the monk, who has been a missionary in South Africa for 26 years.

“I always say jokingly that the Benedictines are not a mendicant (relying on donations) order but I have become a beggar because it is about saving lives,” he said during the July 16 interview.

President George W. Bush launched PEPFAR in 2003, which enabled money to go directly to the hands of field operators – many of whom belonged to the Catholic Church.

The program, which has been supporting AIDS relief by the South African Bishops’ Conference for 10 years, will end in June 2014 and money will be given instead to the country’s National Health Care System.

U.S. President Obama traveled to South Africa on June 29 for the first time since his election in a week’s visit to Africa, during which he also visited Senegal and Tanzania.

At the Desmond Tutu Peace Center, he said on June 30 that the goal of U.S. policy is to increase South Africa and other nations’ capacity to manage their own programs to fight HIV/AIDS, rather than rely largely on U.S. funding.

“Thank God the Bishops’ Conference spoke to the South African government that in turn spoke to the National Department of Health and to the Kwa Zulu Department of Health,” Fr. Gerhard noted.

This resulted in the government AIDS treatment programs taking over the patients of Catholic institutions in many parts of the country.

Around 40,000 people had started anti-retro-viral treatment by Nov. 2012 through the Aids treatment program of the Catholic Bishops' Conference.

“Most of them have been transferred to the government’s program, but in our area the government clinic is so over-swamped with patients, they could not take over our patients so we have no choice but to carry on,” Fr. Gerhard said.

The priest, of German origin, established the Brotherhood of Blessed Gerhard, which runs a large treatment program as well as a clinic, an AIDS education service, funds for helping young people to study, a hospice, a nursery and an ambulance among other things.

“The Bishops Conference covers 24 per cent of our costs, but as from next year we will have to pay for about 50 per cent of our costs ourselves,” he said.

“To say it in plain English we will have to finance about 150,000 Euros per year until June 2014, and from then it will be about 300,000 Euros which we will have to finance from our side to supplement what is necessary to run the program.”

The Benedictine said he had traveled to Europe to find new ways of financial support for the treatment program, which is the Brotherhood’s main activity.

Tags: Charity, AIDS, Church in Africa


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: