The United States has announced a shift in donor funds for fighting HIV/Aids from large organisations to community-based organisations by 2020.
According to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Country Director Dr Tamu Daniels, the organisation will shift up to 70 per cent of funding given to countries to grassroot organisations.
The policy shift is meant to ensure that funds meant for assisting communities to fight the HIV pandemic are used in the areas where they would make the most significant impact.
"We are responding to ideas by community-based organisations on how to improve the economic conditions of people infected or affected by HIV. We will give resources directly to organisations that are local and home-grown and have answers to the epidemic from their perspective for their communities," said Dr Daniels.
"We believe there a lot of people with the capacity to use the funds to do what is required for Kenyans in regards to an effective response to the HIV pandemic," she added.
Among the programmes that Pepfar runs in Kenya is the PEPFAR Community Grants Program, which focuses on assisting communities with projects that promote prevention, care and support for those infected or affected by HIV.
"The programme provides one-time funding to expand, extend or improve existing community-based healthcare and programmes for orphans and vulnerable children for a year," said Dr Daniels, noting that the fund has distributed Sh116 million to 123 groups.
She was speaking during a meeting between the agency and the First Ladies' Association hosted by Makueni County's Nazi Kivutha.
Among the issues discussed was the incorporation of the governors' spouses in the fight against HIV/Aids, to support and influence the delivery of HIV control programmes in the devolved units.
The governors’ wives do not receive any funding, and have to identify sources of funds for their pet projects.
Mrs Kivutha said that they would lobby county governments to include the activities of local groups fighting HIV in county budgets to support their efforts.
Priscilla Oparanya of Kakamega County added that the groups should engage in income-generating activities like agribusiness to improve their economic status.