Background

In 2001 the Kingdom of Swaziland created The National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA) under the Prime Minister's Office, and subsequently through an Act of Parliament, The NERCHA Act No. 8/2003. NERCHA was created to coordinate and facilitate the National Multisectoral HIV/AIDS response and oversee the implementation of the national strategic plans and frameworks.

NERCHA is not an implementing body, its goal is rather to organize and manage the nation’s war against the AIDS epidemic. Acting as the conduit for monies received from Government and the U.N. Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, NERCHA works with organizational and community partners across all sectors to ensure that comprehensive services are delivered at the grass-roots level throughout the nation.

With NERCHA’s leadership, the nation has created and implemented a strategic response to HIV/AIDS that has impacted thousands of Swazis. The response has focused on local, community-driven solutions that align with a national vision. These programmes are geared to be sustainable and to target all segments of Swazi society, the uninfected, the infected and the affected.

In late 2004, a Joint Review committee was formed to review the NSP for 2000-2005. The Joint Review identified lessons learned, achievements, prevailing challenges and opportunities presented by the Nation’s first strategic plan. Following the Joint Review, the country embarked on developing the Second National Multisectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan for 2006-2008. The development of the second NSP was based on findings of the Joint Review as well as countrywide consultations with government, civil society, private sector, and perhaps most importantly, the Swazi people themselves. These consultations focused on the drivers of the epidemic, how the epidemic was affecting individuals, communities, and the country at large, as well as what could be done differently to turn the tide of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Swaziland.

In 2009, the development of the Swaziland National Strategic Framework (NSF) for HIV and AIDS 2009-2014 was commissioned by the Government of Swaziland in collaboration with other stakeholders involved in the implementation of the National Multisectoral HIV and AIDS response.The process started in October 2008 and was completed in February 2009. It was officially launched by the Right Honorable Prime Minister, Dr Sbusiso Barnabas Dlamini on the 25th September 2009 during the NERCHA AGM held in the Manzini Region.