(FamilyRetirementClub.com) – The United States government has been supporting the country of Eswatini in South Africa and its “National Condom Strategy” for a few years now. In fact, almost 90% of “public sector condoms are procured” with U.S. government funds.
That’s according to an announcement the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gave following the country’s new grant of $700,000 toward the National Condom Strategy. The program, which was established in 2017, seeks to prevent “unintended pregnancies” while also combating HIV/AIDS in the country.
Funding that the U.S. government provides the program goes toward purchasing condoms, which are then given out to some health facilities and some civil society partners. These places then give the condoms out to certain populations that they target. Most of the condoms end up being distributed to “retail outlets, non-governmental organizations and other partners.”
Despite the USAID giving another $700,000 toward the program, it said it “intends to consolidate its support for condom promotion resources to coordinate and target promotion of condom use.” This will entail a shift to “a more sustainable, equitable and market-based approach that will improve access to male and female condoms and lubricants.”
The ultimate goal, according to USAID, would be “to improve coordination, increase commodity security, increase demand and access, and improve correct and consistent utilization of condoms, with a particular focus on youth and males.”
HIV/AIDS is a huge problem in Eswatini, where the life expectancy of residents is a mere 58 years and roughly 69% live below the poverty line. In 2018, USAID said more than 27% of adults between 15 and 49 were living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 60% of those people were women.
Homosexual relations are indeed illegal in Eswatini, according to USAID. That being said, the National Condom Strategy says that group of people needs to be targeted as part of the government program. The strategy points out “key populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, their clients and their partners have the highest incidence of HIV.”
In addition to potentially supporting a program that, in part, goes against Eswatini’s own laws, the U.S. government may be backing a corrupt government in the process. As Judicial Watch has said, King Mswati, “leads an openly posh lifestyle and has 15 wives, according to an African news report that lists all their names.
“He is also a renowned violator of human rights,” the publication continued, “who has been blasted by various international groups over the years. Just last month, Eswatini’s National Commissioner of Police announced that social media critics of the king will be hunted down and arrested. Around the same time, human rights advocates were arrested for denouncing King Mswati’s oppressive, dictator-like policies.”
Even though the U.S. government may have had good intentions with their backing of the National Condom Strategy, it seems as if they may have chosen the wrong country, and the wrong leader, to get in bed with.