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Regional Programme on Fisheries and HIV/AIDS - Overview

In the fight against poverty in Africa there is an urgent need for greater investment in human health. In doing so there is an important role for fish and fisheries that support the livelihoods of millions of poor people on the continent. Small-scale fisheries in particular provide food and nutrition security, and generate economic opportunities for the poor throughout society, including those living with HIV/AIDS. In turn, good health in fishing communities and the entire sector is a basic pillar of productive and sustainable fisheries that pursue long-term economic objectives and deliver lasting development outcomes. On both sides of this equation, benefits are severely at risk, as per capita fish supply in sub-Saharan Africa is declining, and fisherfolk are among the populations most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

The Programme will strengthen the capacity of people and agencies in the region to develop practical, coordinated and sustainable solutions to enhance the contributions of fish and fisheries to economic and human development in Africa. In particular, the Programme will build a strategic response to HIV/AIDS in the fisheries sector that will generate benefits for vulnerable groups in wider society.

Output areas
The Programme will deliver outputs in three areas:
1. Improved knowledge base on the trends and risk factors of HIV/AIDS in the fisheries sector;
2. Viable investment options to reduce vulnerability and increase mitigation capacity in the fisheries sector and generate benefits for populations at risk in wider society;
3. Improved policies, institutions and processes for dissemination and investment in best practice.

Implementation modality
This three year regional programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through their joint Regional HIV/AIDS Programme for Africa. Overall programme coordination is with WorldFish office in Zambia and research-for-development activities are taking place in eight African countries, through collaboration with national organizations and research institutions. The programme has two sub-regional components;
- East and Southern Africa: DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia (managed by WorldFish).
- West and Central Africa: Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria (managed by FAO).

Technical focus areas
Through national consultations, the programme is implementing activities through national and local partners in all country components in three technical focus areas:
• Insights into mobility and migration patterns and analysis of and interventions to address vulnerabilities (including to HIV/AIDS) of female fish traders along selected fish value chains.
• Analysis of nutritional impact of fish on selected target groups (households using aquaculture, urban poor, people living with HIV using ART).
• Supporting institutional change to bridge gaps between the fisheries and health sectors.

Click here for an overview table of ongoing research-for-development activities in East and Southern Africa.
Click here for an overview table of activities in West and Central Africa.