The Regional Network on HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, and Food Security (RENEWAL) was launched in 2001. Facilitated by IFPRI, RENEWAL is a regional network-of-networks. Currently active in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia, RENEWAL comprises national networks of food- and nutrition-relevant organizations (public, private, and nongovernmental) together with partners in AIDS and public health. RENEWAL aims to enhance understanding of the worsening interactions between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security and to facilitate a comprehensive response to these interactions. The core pillars are locally prioritized action research, capacity strengthening, and policy communications. RENEWAL is operated on the idea that the process of developing networks is both a means and an end. Impact can be enhanced and sustained when locally prioritized research is linked with capacity strengthening and policy communications.
These activities have been supported at the regional level through engagement with regional institutions. For example, RENEWAL has helped draft the HIV/AIDS Framework for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) HIV and AIDS Unit. Similarly RENEWAL provided support to SADC and the East Africa Community through UNAIDS funded research into the impact of rising food prices on people living with HIV and those affected by AIDS. This research was co-commissioned by the Networks of African People Living with HIV in both the Southern African Region (NAP+ SAR) and East Africa Region (NAP+ EAR).
At the global level, RENEWAL has participated actively in a number of high-level meetings and conferences including the International AIDS Conferences in Mexico City and Toronto, the African Union Regional Experts meeting on Social Protection and the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board. RENEWAL’s work continues to be widely referenced and of immediate relevance to debates and discussions involving HIV/AIDS, food, nutrition and hunger.