Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Mustapha El-Nakib, Director, National AIDS Programme
9 June 2011
- Statement: Arabic (Check against delivery)
MUSTAPHA EL-NAKIB, Director of the National AIDS Programme of Lebanon, reiterated his country’s commitment to the fight, noting that it was working to provide coverage for all citizens living with HIV. Full coverage was also extended to Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, he said, adding that the Government was still trying to provide coverage for other nationalities living in the country. The National AIDS Programme worked under the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with WHO, and with a special budget set aside for that programme.
Lebanon’s response to HIV and AIDS was not limited to Government efforts, he continued. In fact, the active participation of non-governmental organizations and civil society was critical to the Government’s efforts and it was working with a network of non-governmental organizations in a number of areas, particularly in reaching the most marginalized people. The Government was also trying to overcome all barriers to, and to reduce all forms of discrimination and stigma against, the most at-risk populations. He noted that representatives of men who have sex with men as well as drug users had been included in those efforts. Moreover, the Government had established a committee of social and medical specialists to develop practical plans and protocols for those at-risk groups, he said, adding that a volunteer testing programme had also been established.