Australian Government gives UNICEF $9.1 million to scale up support for children affected by AIDS in three African countries
NEW YORK/NAIROBI, 23 June 2006 - The Government of Australia has committed US$9.1 million to UNICEF to help the governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania increase the number of children affected by AIDS who are reached by basic services.
In announcing the funding commitment, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Alexander Downer MP, said that the Australian Government’s contribution will help give some five million children better access to education and health care through the UNICEF Children and AIDS Regional Initiative. The initiative will directly support the ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ global campaign, led by UNICEF and UNAIDS.
The funds will be used to help families and communities support and care for children affected by AIDS and boost their access to education and health care. Funds will also be used to support legal and policy reform to protect these vulnerable children.
“We are grateful to the Australian Government for its largest ever contribution to UNICEF for HIV and AIDS,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “These funds will help all three countries ensure that orphans and other children affected by AIDS get the care and services they need and deserve.”
According to the latest UNAIDS/UNICEF estimates, 15.2 million children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS worldwide, with 12 million in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
Protecting and supporting orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS is one of the four main goals of ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’. The campaign has set specific targets to limit the impact of HIV/AIDS on children and help halt the spread of the disease. The other key areas of the campaign are providing paediatric HIV/AIDS treatment, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and preventing HIV infection among adolescents and young people.
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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