MOU Signed for Peace Corps and UNDP Belize Partnership

May 6, 2011

Peace Corps partners with UNDP on HIVAIDS Programme

Partnership for Assistance in Belize strengthened through a Memorandum of Understanding of the Peace Corps Belize and the United Nations Development Programme.

The partnership of cooperation for assistance to Belize was today fortified through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Peace Corps Belize and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Peace Corps Country Director Nina Hernandez and Francisco Roquette, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, held a cordial meeting and signed the MOU on Friday May 6th in Belmopan. The commitment was consolidated for the first Peace Corps Response Volunteer to contribute to the implementation of the HIV/AIDS Programme of the UNDP Country Office, starting in June 2011.

The Peace Corps Response Volunteer will support with inputs to the monitoring and evaluation of the Global Fund Round 9 Grant Project “Accelerating the Pace: Reaching Marginalized and Vulnerable Populations with Critical Services”, of which the UNDP is principal recipient. The overall goal of the project is to “Halt the spread of HIV with a special emphasis on young people 15–24” in Belize. It proposes to address key gaps in the national response to HIV/AIDS, and focus specifically on the most at-risk groups in the two most affected districts, Belize and Stann Creek. This project is structured with both an HIV and a Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) component.

The Response Volunteer is initially supporting the HIV/AIDS Programme for a period of six months, but both organizations have expressed commitment and hope for a long and cooperative partnership, in any areas of mutual interest as regards the continued development of Belize.

This agreement is of particular significance, since the Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world in 2011. The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1961, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the United States Government devoted to world peace and friendship. Since that time, more than 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to Youth Development and Small Business Development.

UNDP is the United Nation’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It works in close collaboration with the Government, and other national and international development stakeholders. UNDP commenced its work in 1982 in Belize; it supports the government and communities to advance their own solutions to the challenges of development and to progress towards the Belize Millennium Development Goals.

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