OPEC and UNESCO create AIDS project for twelve countries in Asia and the Arab worldParis, December 24 – UNESCO and OPEC FUND have concluded an agreement to create a two-year Project on Reducing the Impact of the HIV/AIDS Crisis in and through Education. It aims to help curb the rate of new HIV infections among young people in and out of school in 12 countries: three Arab states, three in Central Asia and six in southeast Asia (1). The OPEC Fund has undertaken to provide US$ 2,250,000 for the Project, which will focus on information and education, assistance to ministries, teaching programmes and curriculum enhancement.
To be implemented by UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning, in cooperation with National Commissions for UNESCO and education ministries, the new Project will complement the UNESCO-led Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS and Education that aims to strengthen education ministries’ ability to meet the teaching, learning and management needs generated by the pandemic. (2)
Working with UNAIDS partners, ministries and civil society organizations, the Project, covering the period of January 2005 through 2006 will:
1. Consolidate knowledge on what works and develop evidence-based advocacy materials for ministries, schools and other actors in education systems;
2. Strengthen national and local capacity of key actors in the education sector, including strategic planning, curriculum development, teacher-training, monitoring and evaluation;
3. Expand prevention education against HIV/AIDS through the media;
4. Strengthen tools for international monitoring and response to the impact of HIV/AIDS on education in cooperation with UNAIDS;
5. Scale up HIV/AIDS prevention education in schools.
The joint Project will also build on and expand some on-going grass roots activities such as peer education programmes for youth leaders in Uzbekistan, or for men who have sex with men in Viet Nam, advocacy by famous Cambodian sports personalities to promote testing for HIV, and popular music concerts against HIV/AIDS held and broadcast for hill tribe people in Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and southern China.
The OPEC Fund’s HIV/AIDS Special Account was established in June 2001 to pursue cooperative arrangements with international institutions that have lead roles in the global campaign against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
(1)Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam.
(2)The Initiative focuses on four specific areas: improving analytical tools; training; assistance in accessing funding; and technical assistance in the early implementation.