Peace Corps Director and Ambassador Birx Discuss the Future of PEPFAR
August 6, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2015 – Today Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet welcomed U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx, the head of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), for a town hall-style meeting at Peace Corps headquarters. During the discussion, Ambassador Birx and Director Hessler-Radelet spoke of PEPFAR’s progress and reiterated the importance of reaching epidemic control. Ambassador Birx also thanked Peace Corps volunteers for their work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, emphasizing the important role the agency plays in creating sustainable, community-led responses to HIV in countries around the world.
"The Peace Corps has been a critical contributor to PEPFAR's success from the onset of the program," said Ambassador Birx. "Peace Corps volunteers occupy unique positions of within the communities that they serve, which support PEPFAR's ability to deliver life-saving HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to those in the greatest of need."
Since PEPFAR’s inception 12 years ago, Peace Corps has been a key partner and currently sends volunteers to work in 26 PEPFAR countries. All Peace Corps volunteers who serve in Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia are trained to be advocates and educators of HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Before leading the Peace Corps, Director Hessler-Radelet was actively involved in the establishment of PEPFAR and was a primary author of PEPFAR’s first strategic plan.
“PEPFAR is the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and it has saved millions of lives,” Director Hessler-Radelet said. “Peace Corps volunteers work directly with communities, drawing on their relationships and grassroots network in a way that delivers PEPFAR resources and proven interventions to the people who are most in need.”
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About PEPFAR: The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information about PEPFAR, visit www.PEPFAR.gov and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.