December 4, 2003
On Monday in Kenya, UNICEF called on Somali leaders to support youth in fighting AIDS. Somali leaders have a responsibility to provide correct information on prevention and healthy lifestyles to young people, as they are the prime target of the epidemic, said Jasper Morch, UNICEF's representative to Somalia. "Leaders must rise to this huge challenge and mobilize the youth, not to fight political battles, but to spearhead the fight for their own and Somalia's survival against AIDS," Morch said. "A multi-faceted response is crucial, where links are forged between all actors in society, making a compelling argument for commitment by multiple sectors in government to improve services and empower communities to take action." Compared to other sub-Saharan African countries, HIV/AIDS prevalence remains relatively low in Somalia.