There are 67 million undernourished people in the region and 3.5 million living with HIV, a large percentage of them rural women. In emergency situations, risks of HIV infection increase through displacement, exposure to sexual exploitation, abuse and gender-based violence.
Last week the global AIDS community converged on Washington, DC, for the 19th International AIDS Conference. Among the nearly 24,000 conference participants was Karine Garnier who manages a regional FAO project supporting people affected by HIV and gender inequality in Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Rural communities in these countries are improving their livelihoods and nutrition through training sessions using the junior and adult Farmer Field and Life School methodology, where farmers learn through observation and experimentation in their own fields and communities.
The project has reached 80,000 men, women and children with a curriculum aimed at increasing awareness of gender issues, reducing the stigma of HIV and improving nutrition levels and food security.
“The farmers are there for their own economic benefit, but the social outcome is also very good.”
Read the full interview with Garnier: Addressing HIV in emergencies
Watch a video profiling the project’s Junior and Adult Farmer Field Schools in Northern Uganda: Empowered over their fields, empowered over their lives.