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Eritrea is confronting a complex emergency with long-term implications. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is unfolding in the midst of a post conflict and apparently a no peace no war situation with thousands still internally displaced or just returning to their home villages. These are some of the factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS as well as the challenge the nation’s capacity to mount an effective response to prevent its spread. A complex challenge of the nature of the HIV/AIDS calls for a multifaceted response that will ensure that emergency action is undertaken as well as sustainable measures instituted to deal with long-term effects. Aware of the problem and the economic impact of HIV/AIDS, through a long consultative process, Eritrea has developed a National Strategic Plan (NSP) to respond to the HIV/AIDS situation in the country.
The need for coordinated multi-sectoral intervention programs was thus one of the basic strategic areas of the NSP. In particular, the workplace has been identified as a unique entry point where people are already organized for another objective and reaching out to them in an empowering way to provide catchments area for other programs targeting the general population. There is a concern regarding HIV/AIDS as it affects the most productive members of population and impacts their families as well the whole society. Managing the long term human, social and economic impact brought about by the disease is of national importance for the country. Aware of the economic impact of HIV/AIDS, the NCEW is in need to update/upgrade the epidemic, mitigate its impact on workers and their families and provide social protection to help cope with disease. The impact of HIV/ AIDS at the various levels of society such as its household impacts, societal impacts and impact on Women as triple jeopardy are the main focus of the workshops.
To reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS and improve the living conditions of the target population through awareness raising programmes on the preventive and care support measures to HIV/AIDS pandemic, to mainstream the national policy into private and public enterprises development plans and to strengthen the capacity of workers, employers and relevant government departments to manage the response to HIV/AIDS in the world of work.
Workplace based HIV/AIDS policy and programs that address HIV/AIDS in the workplace will be upgraded/developed. The Community Capacity Enhancement Process, which is part of the UN contribution to the national response, will be initiated to facilitate social mobilization and strengthen the capacity of workers with special emphasis on gender to enable them effectively and actively participate in the reflection, participatory planning, implementation and monitoring of decentralized plans. A special training programme will be organized on occupational health and safety for about 100 workers from representatives of five Workers’ Federations, MLHW, EFE and local authorities aimed to raise awareness amongst the workers regarding their rights in the workplace and to protect workers rights in line to the country’s laws so that workers can be productive in their different sectors while at the same time know their rights at the workplace
Project Title: HIV/AIDS Intervention Programme in the Workplace (Phase II)
Project ID: 00053184
Duration: 2009 - 2012
Budget: US$ 657,351.27
Management Arrangement: NEX
Geographic Focus: Nationwide
Linkage to UNDAF: Establish workplace-based prevention and care programs in key national economic and social sectors and the private sector
Implementing Agency : National Confderation of Eritrean Workers
Contact Person: Michael Tewoldemedhin