The SANRU grant allows UMCOR to broaden programs to fight both malaria and HIV/AIDS in underserved communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
By Julia Kayser*
January 25, 2013—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is honored to announce that it has been chosen as a sub-recipient for a grant of more than $1.3 million from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The grant will support UMCOR’s work to combat malaria and HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the organization has worked for more than a decade.
This is UMCOR’s second sub-grant from The Global Fund. Under the previous one, it conducted malaria-control programming in three Congolese health zones (each health zone encompasses about 100,000 people residing in some 200 communities). This new grant will allow UMCOR to extend its malaria-control work to four health zones while also inaugurating HIV/AIDS programming in 14 health zones.
In both instances, UMCOR was partnered with Santé Rural (Rural Health), or SANRU, the primary recipient of the Global Fund award. Together, they made significant progress in the fight against malaria in DRC. UMCOR is pleased to continue and expand this critical work to the additional health zones, which are in urgent need of malaria-control and/or HIV programming.
SANRU was established by l’Eglise de Christ du Congo (Christ Church of the Congo) in the 1980s to improve rural health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. SANRU manages funds it receives from the local government and international organizations, and distributes them among partner groups working toward the same goal.
Overall, the Global Fund grant administered by SANRU will support malaria and HIV/AIDS programs in 214 health zones across the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The recognition conferred on UMCOR with this SANRU grant is a result of its involvement with Imagine No Malaria, an important initiative of The United Methodist Church, and the heightened visibility of the church’s programming and fundraising efforts in partnership with the Global Fund.
“This is a chance for us to broaden our experience in HIV programming,” says UMCOR Senior Program Manager Amber Kubera. It also is an opportunity to expand the malaria programming for which UMCOR already is well known.
The organization is well positioned for this expansion, having long-established offices in the cities of Kamina and Lubumbashi, as well as personnel experienced in the management of malaria-control and HIV/AIDS programs across the region. UMCOR can now scale up its efforts to administer these critical services to underserved areas.
The Global Fund, founded in 2002, has supported more than 1,000 programs in 151 countries, providing care and treatment to people living with AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. It is well known for its high level of oversight and strict adherence to standards, and UMCOR is proud to be part of its effort in DRC.
Kubera notes that this funding shows that The Global Fund, a trusted and reputable organization, “has recognized in UMCOR a strong implementing partner. The expansion from malaria to HIV programming is a testimony to the level of work UMCOR has provided in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” she says.
The primary objectives of the UMCOR projects will be to focus on the provision of insecticide-treated bed nets to vulnerable populations such as children under five and women. Improvements in diagnosis and treatment, testing and counseling, and the provision of preservatives for people living with HIV are all key emphases.
Enriching partnerships and expanding important UMCOR Global Health work is a cause for celebration! Support UMCOR Global Health projects with your gift to UMCOR Advance #3020622.
*Julia Kayser is a writer and regular contributor to www.umcor.org.