Yaoundé, Cameroon — The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recently held the close-out event for the “Key Interventions to Develop Systems and Services (KIDSS) for Orphans and Vulnerable Children” project. KIDSS was a nine-year cooperative agreement between USAID and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), implemented with financial support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). During this event, USAID and its partners also celebrated the successful transition of KIDSS activities to the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon through a new project called “Consolidating Systems and Services for the Management of Orphans (CoSMO) and Vulnerable Children in Cameroon.”
USAID Country Representative Philip Accilien attended this event alongside CRS Cameroon Country Representative Caroline Agalheir, Chief of Party of the KIDSS project Dr. Emeka Anoje, representatives of Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health, representatives of the new CoSMO project, and other health partners. In her opening remarks, Caroline Agalheir highlighted the successes of the 23 billion FCFA ($36 million) KIDSS project, implemented in partnership with 27 Cameroonian entities from June 2014 through March 2023. The project provided care and support services to more than 90,000 children and their families, including more than 13,000 children living with HIV in Cameroon, in the past nine years. The project’s services included positive parenting skills development, tuition fee payment and scholarship for vocational skill trainings, sexual and reproductive health, legal and child protection services, HIV treatment adherence counselling and support, payment for medical fees for highly vulnerable HIV affected households among others.
In his closing remarks, USAID Country Representative Philippe Accilien congratulated CRS for the successful handover of PEPFAR/USAID project activities to a Cameroonian partner – the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon which is a result of USAID’s commitment to increase local ownership and leadership of its development and humanitarian assistance programs. He expanded on USAID’s commitments to strengthen local development efforts by channeling a larger portion of its funding directly to partners such as the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon. In 2021, USAID’s direct funding to Cameroonian organizations only represented a little more than one percent of the bilateral investment. At the end of 2023, USAID expects to reach 21 percent, and by the end of 2024, 32 percent. Globally, USAID has set a target to allocate 25 percent of its funding directly to local organizations by 2025.
The U.S. government through its PEFPAR program will continue to promote empowerment of local organization for an HIV free Cameroon. For more information on USAID’s activities in Cameroon, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/cameroon