Recognition to Podgorica for the fight against HIV/AIDS30/12/2020
At the reception organized for the representatives of the NGO CAZAS on the occasion of the one year since the signing of the Paris Declaration, the executive director of this NGO, Dr Mišo Pejković, presented the #InYourPOWER plaque to the Mayor of Podgorica, Ivan Vuković, Ph.D., as one of the initiators of local HIV/AIDS responses.
On December 2, last year, Podgorica, together with Bijelo Polje and Bar, signed the Paris Declaration and thus joined the World Group of Cities for rapid response to HIV. The #InYourPOWER plaque is awarded as part of the "SOS project" campaign, which is being implemented in several countries with the support of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Capital has used the past period since the signing of the Declaration to adopt appropriate regulations as a precondition for society to respond better and more readily to the problems caused by HIV/AIDS.
"This year, we have done a lot in terms of adopting norms and local action plans for improving social inclusion, and we hope that in the coming period there will be more concrete actions because we believe that this is a serious social problem that can be controlled. We are absolutely committed to a common goal and ready to intensify cooperation with other local governments", the Mayor said, thanking the NGO CAZAS for their cooperation and trust.
Among the activities implemented so far, the adoption of the Local Plan for the Promotion of Social Inclusion and the Development of Social and Child Protection Services 2020-2023 should be highlighted, which defines priority target groups, including people living with HIV/AIDS and people at risk of HIV. The Capital also supported the NGO CAZAS by awarding funds through a public tender for the implementation of the project "Improving the local response to the needs of young and vulnerable categories in the Capital".
"We have already started with the implementation of that project and everything is going as it should. It is important to say that this is the first time that the Capital has funded this part related to HIV/AIDS", the director of CAZAS, Dr Mišo Pejković stated.
Pejković pointed out that the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, where he is a deputy member of the Board for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, has invested € 10 million since 2006 to fight AIDS. For the previous three years, they financed the non-governmental sector for the provision of services with € 600,000 and in the following period until 2024, they will finance as that much more funds. Pejković announced that CAZAS, which has twenty years of experience in the fight against HIV/AIDS, will provide support to the Capital in drafting an action plan for the implementation of the Paris Declaration. He also pointed out the need to intensify the cooperation of the Capital with other European cities in this area, and in that sense invited the Mayor to participate in the work of the Congress of Cities signatories of the Paris Declaration in Lisbon in March next year.
It was stated at the meeting that the highest percentage of infected people in Montenegro that need help is in Podgorica, and it was agreed to consider the idea of forming a new social service that would provide psychosocial support.