World Aids Day marked by Government
The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D., today launched an information booklet on the global HIV/AIDS crisis at a commemorative event that took place at the Department of Foreign Affairs to mark World Aids Day. The event was hosted by Minister of State Tom Kitt T.D. and included a short drama performance by a visiting South African theatre group, on the theme of HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at the event, the Taoiseach stated:
“ I am particularly pleased that the increasing overseas aid budget has allowed us to step up our commitment to the global fight against HIV/AIDS. And going forward, the Government intends to ensure that HIV/AIDS will remain a priority within the Ireland Aid Programme. And I am pleased to confirm here today that the special HIV/AIDS fund of € 30 million, which we established to combat the disease, was not a once off measure and will be replenished on an annual basis.”
Concluding the event Minister of State Tom Kitt T.D. noted that:
“HIV/AIDS has presented the international community with a crisis of enormous magnitude. The scale and the urgency of the problem has now finally been recognised and we must all continue with our efforts to address the greatest threat to development at this time. The good news is that we know it is possible to contain HIV/AIDS and to dramatically reduce its impact worldwide. Experience in a number of countries has shown that this can be done, when political commitment and leadership, adequate resources, and the right strategies, are in plac