From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been charged by Akwa Ibom state government to increase the number of local governments in its HIV/ AIDS programme in the state.
Governor Udom Emmanuel made the request when the international agency paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Uyo.
The governor, who spoke through his Deputy Mr. Moses Frank Ekpo, assured the USAID of government’s support in the fight against HIV/AIDS, saying government also welcomes innovations that will complement its cardinal programmes.
He also appealed for assistance from international donor agencies in combating the menace of the dreaded disease and promised to work with USAID through the ministry of women affairs and social welfare to aid the organisation in achieving its objectives in the state.
The governor observed that USAID has robust programmes that would bring succour to vulnerable children and women in the state.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of women affairs and social welfare, Mrs. Cecilia Inyang, said the ministry was receptive of the programmes and assured that personnel will be provided to support it.
The USAID representative, Mrs. Suzan Coleman, said they were in the state to acquaint the governor with the programmes on HIV/ AIDS and tuberculosis, and to introduce the newest project for orphans and vulnerable children in the state as well as indicate effort to mitigate the impact of the virus.