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CRS Conference in South Africa

CRS held a Conference on HIV/AIDS and Food Security in Southern Africa from September 22nd-29th in Johannesburg, South Africa. The aim of the conference was to appreciate the progress to date, to generate more innovative and longterm HIV/AIDS and food security strategies, and to further increase the quality and scale of holistic and sustainable programmes that address food security, HIV/AIDS and social justice. The conference was a collaborative effort between the CRS Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO) and CRS headquarters Programme Quality Support Department (PQSD): HIV/AIDS Unit. The conference was made possible through the financial support of the Food For Peace grant, the 'Institutional Capacity Building' (ICB) grant (AFP-A-00-03- 00015-00).

Thirty-nine CRS staff attended the conference - 24 from country programmes (including three country representatives and three heads of programming), seven from SARO, five from PQSD, one from OSD, and two advisors from other regions in Africa. In addition, 18 resource people representing CRS, donors, other NGOs, and people living with HIV and AIDS also contributed at the conference.
The conference began by taking stock of the impressive amounts of high-quality programming integrating HIV/AIDS and food security currently being implemented by CRS country programmes. Country programme presentations were made in the areas of Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC), Title II food aid, and on the use of frameworks in project development.

New frameworks and information were introduced to deepen country programme understanding of the linkages between HIV/AIDS and Nutrition, Livelihoods and Social Justice. A full day of in-depth training was conducted in each of these thematic areas. With the benefit of this new information and training, participants analysed a series of critical issues such as prevention, complex program design issues, new programming areas and donor resource allocation strategies.

Finally, participants established capacity building and learning agenda priorities for linking HIV/AIDS and food security in the coming years. By supporting the continued programme growth warranted by the humanitarian context, while at the same time deepening programme quality, it is hoped that this learning agenda will contribute to greater visibility of CRS leadership in this important field.

A report of the conference can be obtained from Kristin Weinhaur email: kweinhau@catholicrelief.org

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Reference this page

CRS Conference in South Africa. Field Exchange 25, May 2005. p29. www.ennonline.net/fex/25/crs