18.04.2012 - ODG

UNESCO signs agreement to support HIV/AIDS education in 14 African countries

© OFID/Johannes Herberstein

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signed an agreement in Vienna today between UNESCO and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to support education responses for HIV and AIDS in 14 francophone countries in West and Central Africa.

This project draws on lessons learned from past cooperation in East and Southern Africa to support ministries of education and other national stakeholders in enhancing national responses to HIV and AIDS. Through high quality technical support, it aims to give teachers, learners, and communities across West and Central Africa greater access to quality education on HIV and AIDS, as well as improved knowledge, attitudes and skills for HIV prevention. The project will protect the core functions of the education system from the worst effects of the epidemic, through care and support to learners and teachers living with HIV.

"By this renewed collaboration, reaching out to 14 francophone countries in West and Central Africa to support comprehensive education responses to HIV and AIDS, we will further expand and strengthen our action on the ground, by reaching both learners and teachers," said UNESCO Director-General.

"OFID wishes to acknowledge UNESCO's involvement in fighting HIV/AIDS for more than two decades. This new partnership will take our cooperation further to support Millennium Development Goal 6*," said Director-General of OFID Suleiman Al-Herbish.

This project, amounting to $1.2 million, builds on the success of the previous OFID/UNESCO partnerships-- including “Mitigation of the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Asia through Education,” which concluded in February 2008, and “Comprehensive Education Sector responses to HIV /AIDS in East and Southern Africa”, which is currently being implemented in 17 countries and will come to an end in October 2012. While thanking the Director-General of OFID for the partnership, Irina Bokova highlighted that this shows that "UNESCO is a trusted partner".

The project will be conducted within the framework of EDUCAIDS, the UNAIDS global initiative on education and HIV & AIDS led by UNESCO. It will be implemented in collaboration with other UNAIDS cosponsors and a range of key stakeholders.

* Millennium Development Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

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