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Douglas Webb, AIDS advisor in Africa reports on orphans and vulnerable children

Length: 03:50

This story is free! UNICEF's AIDS Advisor on Eastern and Southern Africa, Douglas Webb, gives a full report on UNICEF's new publication on Orphans and Vulnerable children.
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Piece Description

African children orphaned as a result of AIDS, especially adolescent girls and young women in the 15-24 age group, are at higher risk of HIV infection than other children, according to a report issued yesterday by UNICEF, UNAIDS and the US President?s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. "We must do more to help. Millions of children affected by AIDS are out of school, growing up alone, vulnerable to poverty, marginalization and discrimination,? UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah told journalists at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto. ?Children who have lost parents and care-givers are left without their first line of defence,? she added. ?One of the most effective ways to keep these children safe is to invest in education, especially for girls. In keeping with the theme of the Toronto International AIDS conference, ?Time to Deliver?, we have a moral obligation to act with no delay.? According to the new report, entitled ?Africa?s Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations: Children Affected by AIDS?, 12 million of the 48 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS. In the most affected countries, it is proving increasingly difficult for surviving parents or their extended families to protect and care for the expanding number of orphans and vulnerable children. "President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has brought increased attention to families and to children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS," said Assistant Administrator Kent Hill of the Bureau for Global Health at USAID. "To date, the Emergency Plan has supported care for 3 million people, including 1.2 million orphans and vulnerable children. With the number of AIDS orphans still growing, we must accelerate this progress." The situation of children affected by AIDS varies significantly across families, communities and countries. The report shows that, compared to other children, they are at higher risk of missing out on school, living in homes with insufficient food and suffering from anxiety. ?Responding to the needs of children affected by AIDS is complex. The data presented in this report will lead to better responses, reflecting local realities and meeting local needs,? said the Director of the UNAIDS Country and Regional Support Department, Michel Sidibe. The report on orphaned and vulnerable children was launched as part of the UNITE FOR CHILDREN, UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign, which aims to put the missing face of children at the centre of the HIV/AIDS agenda. The global campaign serves as a platform for united efforts to stop the spread of the AIDS epidemic and its impact on children. Before launching the report yesterday, Ms. Salah and HIV/AIDS Chief Peter McDermott met former US President Bill Clinton to discuss joint efforts to stop children being born with AIDS and to provide drugs to children who are HIV-positive.

Broadcast History

This story has never been broadcast on Public Radio and has just been offered since today on UNICEF Radio's website as a free download.

Timing and Cues

There are two versions of this piece, one with intro and outro and music, one without intro and outro and music

Without intro/outro/music: 3:57
With intro/outro/music: 4:24

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