IFRC LAUNCHES NEW ANTI-AIDS PROGRAM IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched a new initiative in Johannesburg, South Africa, to bolster HIV/AIDS efforts in 10 southern African countries.

The five-year strategic plan seeks to improve the quality of service, empower communities to better respond to the pandemic and increase the number of healthcare professionals and anti-AIDS medications in the region.

Describing the region as "the epicenter of the AIDS pandemic", the IFRC estimated that over 10 million people in the continent's southern region were HIV-positive. "The pandemic is wiping away the most productive age group, leaving young children and the elderly alone in an economically unstable environment," the Federation said in a statement.