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World Bank’s Marketplace Awards US$1 Million for HIV/AIDS

26 South Asian Civil society Organizations Win Grants to Fight Stigma and Discrimination

The Development Marketplace Partnership Awards US$1 Million

May 15, 2008 - Twenty-six civil society organizations from across South Asia won grants today from a US$1 million award pool funded by the South Asia Region Development Marketplace (DM) partnership. The winners received US$40,000 each to implement innovative ideas aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS.

Recognition of these kinds of grass roots organizations is very important,” said Ms. Shabana Azmi, actress and social activist presenting the awards. “We have to make sure they are empowered, strengthened, and financed so they can carry out their work. This initiative is a small but very important step in the fight against stigma and discrimination.

Educating journalists about HIV and AIDS in Bangladesh, using traditional folk art to bring about behavior change in Tamil Nadu, India, and establishing youth forums on HIV at universities in Pakistan were among the winning ideas. Using DM funds, they will have up to 18 months to carry out their projects to bring about change in the attitudes and practices that undermine effective HIV and AIDS programs.

We need to address stigma and discrimination in a big way,” said Sai Paranjpye, an Indian filmmaker whose proposal won a grant to produce four short films on the different social manifestations of stigma. “As a filmmaker this grant will help me reach out to the masses to challenge many of the myths associated with the disease.”

India was the most represented country among winners, with 12 of 26 winning proposals. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan followed with three winning projects each. Two winning proposals came from Sri Lanka.

26 South Asian Civil society Organizations Win Grants

Shabana Azmi, actress and social activist presenting the awards to the winners to Fight Stigma and Discrimination.

26 South Asian Civil society Organizations Win Grants to Fight Stigma and Discrimination

Grass Root Solutions

The innovative, homegrown solutions to fight stigma and discrimination that was presented here today have a huge potential to make a difference in their communities,” said Praful Patel, World Bank Vice-President for South Asia who served as a juror during the competition. “I heard today from all the participants that stigma is a huge constraint to fight the disease. Now is the time to move from knowledge to concrete actions. We hope these ideas will be implemented, scaled up, and incorporated into the national AIDS programs.”

Many of the winning projects are designed to reach and empower vulnerable groups at high risk, such as injecting drug users, sex workers and men having sex with men (MSM). DM award winner Anser Bhatti from the New Light Aids Control Society in Pakistan aims to reach out to MSMs which are frequently marginalized in their own communities. “In this project we will educate and train MSMs and create an enabling environment where they can go freely to HIV testing centers and receive treatment,” said Bhatti.

From Insights to Action

Titled “Tackling HIV and AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: From Insights to Action,” the competition was designed to identify some of the most innovative ideas on reducing stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS. It drew nearly 1000 applications from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and through a vigorous assessment process by international HIV and AIDS and development experts, the applicants were narrowed down to 75 finalists, who showcased their ideas today in Mumbai.

The South Asia Regional Development Marketplace is sponsored by the Government of Norway, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), UNAIDS, UNICEF and the World Bank Group, including the International Financing Corporation (IFC).

The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program that uses a transparent process to identify and support grassroots initiatives with innovative approaches to solving challenging development issues. The program has awarded nearly $34 million to roughly 800 small-scale projects over the last seven years.

Winners from Afghanistan

Afghan Help & Training Program (AHTP): Tackling HIV and AIDS Stigma and Discrimination From Insight to Action.
Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA): HIV and AIDS Stigma and Discrimination Reduction through Raising Awareness in Kabul City.
Concern Worldwide: Addressing HIV and AIDS Related Stigma and Discrimination in Afghanistan.

Winners from Bangladesh

Drik Picture Library Ltd: Mainstreaming the Fringe
JOBS Trust: Economic Rehabilitation of Intravenous Drug Users
Nari Unnayan Shakti (Women's Power for Development): Reduction of Stigma and Discrimination on HIV/AIDS through Media Sensitization and Reporting in Bangladesh

Winners from India

Voluntary Health Association of Tripura (VHAT): Integrated Communication Strategy for Tackling HIV and AIDS Stigma and Discrimination in Tripura.
Saral: Food and Catering Services for PLHA
Nalandaway Foundation: NalandaWay Children Media Project
SPARSHA: Art and Testimonial: A Unique Community Based Approach to Reduce HIV/AIDS Stigma in Villages of West Bengal
The Communication Hub: Harnessing Radio to Empower and Transform: A Participatory Approach to Addressing Stigma
Development Initiative: Fighting Discrimination Amongst the Population Suffering Most from the Prejudices Attached to HIV/AIDS
ISTV Network: Fighting Discrimination Through Awareness -- A Game Show
Swathi Mahila Sangha: Spoorthi - Community Action Against Stigma & Discrimination
Sai Paranjpye Films Pvt. Ltd.: 4 Short Films on Different Aspects - HIV/AIDS issue. Catalysts for 'Qisse' Intended awareness Feature Film
Ashodaya Samithi: Addressing Sigma and Discrimination Towards HIV+ Sex Workers and Sex Workers in General through Entrepreneurship
We Care Social Service Society: Promotion of Community Discussion and Debate Using Traditional Folk Media Known as Therukoothu (Street Drama)
Lotus Integrated AIDS Awareness Sangam: Advocacy by Cultural Teams - ACT

Winners from Nepal

Himalayan Association Against STI-AIDS (HASTI-AIDS): Addressing HIV and AIDS Related Stigma and Discrimination Through Social, Economic and Institutional Interventions in Achham District
Federation of Sexual & Gender Minorities Nepal (FSGMN): Beauty and Brains in Action to Tackle HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination
National NGOs Network Group Against AIDS-Nepal [NANGAN]: Creating PLHA Friendly Hospital (Improving the Hospital Environment for HIV-Positive Clients in Nepalese Regional Hospitals)

Winners from Pakistan

Integrated Health Services: Advocacy Campaign to Reduce AIDS Stigma by Creating 'HIV Forums' at Colleges in Islamabad
New Light AIDS Control Society (NLACS): Reducing Stigma to Improve PLWHA/MSM Uptake for ARV Treatment and CHBC
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF): Capacity Development of Media and Civil Society Organisations to Improve Coverage of HIV/AIDS

Winners from Sri Lanka

Lanka +: To Reduce Stigma and Discrimination Faced by People Living With and Affected by HIV/AIDS Through Advocacy for Employment
Alliance Lanka: OUR HEALTH -Empowering Communities to Normalize HIV

Additional Resources

- For more information about HIV/AIDS in South Asia (Read More »)

- Bangladesh: Cyclone Sidr (

- For more information IFC's work on HIV/AIDS (Read More »)

- South Asia: Development Data
A wide range of social and economic measures on South Asia, including links to the World Bank's most important online development databases. (Read More »)

- South Asia: Analysis and Research
Compilation of all the World Bank's publications on South Asia, with 'search' options and links to analysis and research on other South Asian countries. (Read More »)

- World Bank Program in South Asia
Launching pad to all information on World Bank activities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.(Read More »)

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