Hollywood star Matt Damon (center - in blue cap) with Ambassador Martinez, her husband, Mr. Victor Reimer and RAPIDS Zambia staff members
Hollywood Film Star Matt Damon Visits Zambia
Lusaka, April 26, 2006
This week Hollywood film star Matt Damon led a delegation from Debt, Aids, Trade, Africa (DATA) on a study tour through Zambia. Visiting a wide variety of activities—from microfinance projects to community-based HIV/AIDS programs-- Mr. Damon experienced the comprehensive, dynamic, and productive response that the U.S. government and civil society have supported to promote Zambia’s development challenges.
U.S. Ambassador Carmen Martinez hosted Mr. Damon’s delegation in an evening focused on anti-corruption initiatives in Zambia. Mr. Damon heard from key Zambian civil society leaders of the daily corrupt practices faced by citizens. The recently approved MCA Threshold Program breathes additional energy into the fight against administrative corruption and was discussed extensively.
During his time in the country, Mr. Damon and his entourage also visited the "Reaching HIV/AIDS Affected People with Integrated Development and Support." (RAPIDS). RAPIDS is an HIV/AIDS initiative funded under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Zambia and is administered by USAID. The RAPIDS Project, totaling US$ 39 million over six years, is the single largest U.S. government funded project in Zambia for care and support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
Mr. Damon’s delegation included Mr. Kyle Damon, Erin Thornton (Policy Director, DATA), and a DATA communications team.