New Loans Assist People Living with HIV and Child Caregivers

Hanoi, 17 December 2009 – People living with HIV and caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children in seven provinces with high HIV prevalence will receive loans to establish small businesses and develop other livelihood activities to protect themselves from food insecurity under a U.S.-funded program launched today.


Each of the 750 loan recipients in Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Hanoi, Nghe An, Can Tho, An Giang and Ho Chi Minh City will receive an average of US$450 over the next 12 months, for a project fund of US$300,000. Women who support at least five other family members are the main program beneficiaries.

This is great help for women living with and affected by HIV,” said Nguyen Thi Hoa Binh, Director of the Women, AIDS and Health Centre under Viet Nam Women’s Union, the project implementer.

We will provide training on small business management and related skills for them and build upon our experiences with previous micro-credit projects,” she said, noting that successful implementation and loan repayment would allow project expansion in the second project year and beyond.

A loan will be considered successful if at least 40% is repaid in the first year and at least 80% is repaid after three years.

The project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with management support from UNAIDS Viet Nam, will also benefit from partnership with many international and local non-government organizations, the Viet Nam Network of People Living with HIV, Empathy Clubs and provincial Women’s Unions in the project site provinces.

Being financially independent and physically healthy are essential for people living with and affected by HIV in that it will uphold their self-esteem and help reduce stigma and discrimination,” said Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Viet Nam Country Director.

Food security indicators and an assessment tool will be developed and used to assess food insecurity and refer potential beneficiaries for loan consideration. Loan beneficiaries will also be accepted from local Women’s Unions and People Living with HIV self-help groups.

Before receiving the loan, beneficiaries will have to work in collaboration with project staff to develop feasible business plans, which include a timeline for re-paying all funds within three years.

The USAID funding will be used as a revolving fund to reach more beneficiaries in the coming years.

Media Contacts:     
Nguyen Thi Hoa Binh | Viet Nam Women’s Union | tel. 39 715034 | 
Nguyen Thi Bich Hue | UN Communications Office | tel. 38 22 4383 ext. 105 |


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