Islamabad, 19 July 2019 – The Government of the Republic of Korea has decided to extend humanitarian assistance of USD 100,000 in cash through the World Health Organization (WHO) to help respond to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Outbreak in Larkana district, Sindh province of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The HIV spread was mainly in Larkana district and as of 13 July 2019, 935 people have been confirmed with the virus [including 760 children aged under 15 (82%)].
Dr Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan had called on Mr Kwak Sung-kyu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Islamabad on 10 July in order to garnering support for WHO project to respond to unprecedented HIV outbreak in Larkana district. The Korean Embassy played a constructive role in Seoul’s making the decision to support the noble cause of the WHO project, sympathizing with the grave concern that HIV is spreading rapidly and the majority of the victims are children.
Despite South Korea’s commitment, there remains a significant funding gap for the WHO project, as it requires USD 4.5 million for the next two years for preventing the spread of transmission of HIV infection in Pakistan and reducing the suffering among the HIV infected population, especially children. Informing Dr Mahipala of South Korea’s decision for support on 18 July, Ambassador Kwak mentioned “I expect that other governments and international NGOs will join South Korea in supporting WHO’s efforts in responding to the HIV outbreak in Pakistan.”
“WHO highly appreciates the valuable support made by the Government of the Republic of Korea enabling WHO to scale up its response to the HIV affected population in Larkana district”, expressed Dr Palitha in a bilateral meeting on 18 July with Ambassador Kwak.
Reported by: Muhammad Talha Akhtar