Unfortunately, plans of action do not necessarily lead to service delivery. Too often, this has been the case when it comes to protecting and caring for children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS. Yet, a few noteworthy initiatives have emerged. In Botswana, for example, 95 per cent of households affected by HIV and AIDS receive some form of external support. Kenya, Malawi and Mozambique have established cash transfer pilot programmes in their poorest areas. A 2006 survey of non-governmental organization initiatives in 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa found that about 3.3 million orphaned and vulnerable children were receiving some type of assistance through education, routine health care, food, livelihood or psychosocial support.
In Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe, UNICEF helped build local capacity for the care of children affected by AIDS through a rights- based approach. The Zimbabwean Young People We Care project, for example, has galvanized adolescents to work alongside UNICEF’s home-based health-care facilitators on visits to households affected by AIDS. While the staff provide primary care to the ill, young volunteers do household chores and lend psychosocial support to their peers who have lost their parents to AIDS.
UNICEF and the World Food Programme partnered in nutrition initiatives for orphans and vulnerable children in the Central African Republic, Lesotho and Mozambique. Communication campaigns in 60 communities in Belize advanced the concept of society’s responsibility for the care of young people affected by AIDS. And in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa, UNICEF helped establish a surveillance system that identifies orphans.
In addition to country-level action, UNICEF produced Children and AIDS: A stocktaking report, which presents child-specific data.
UNICEF ANNUAL REPORT 2006
This valuable resource emerged from Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, the movement launched in 2005 to spotlight children as the missing face of AIDS. Through data-driven analysis, the publication takes stock of progress made in the first year of the campaign and attempts to answer the question, Are countries taking appropriate steps to create an AIDS-free generation?
HIV prevention among adolescents requires a multipronged strategy: youth-friendly health services, awareness campaigns, peer counselling and focused interventions in high-risk populations. Several countries integrated youth-friendly health services into existing health systems in 2006, including preliminary steps to incorporate youth-friendly health care in Azerbaijan and Moldova, and full programmes in Serbia. Uzbekistan adopted standards, and Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka began the process of developing norms.
In 31 countries, media and sporting events help spread prevention messages and safe reproductive health information through Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS.
By the end of 2006, field reports from UNICEF country offices indicate that HIV and AIDS education had been fully integrated into national secondary school curricula in 62 countries (42 per cent of those that responded) and were partially operational in 40 more. Azerbaijan, Brazil, Guinea and Indonesia included HIV and AIDS education for the first time in 2006.
On the global front, the 2006 High-Level Meeting on AIDS held at the United Nations in NewYork in June adopted the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, acknowledging the needs of children and women who are coping with the epidemic. And more than two dozen sessions at the XVI International AIDS Conference, held in Toronto (Canada) in August, were devoted to children and young people.