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UNAIDS, UNESCO Sign Agreement on HIV/AIDS Prevention Education in Pakistan

May 24, 2005

UNAIDS and UNESCO on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Pakistan over the next three years, Pakistan's News International reports. The World Bank will provide 45% of a $47 million grant to Pakistan for the project in the next five years. UNAIDS will support UNESCO and the U.N. country team's efforts to fight HIV/AIDS with leadership and strategic, financial and technical assistance. UNESCO will work with UNAIDS to engage Pakistan's government and not-for-profit groups in the country to introduce prevention education at various levels of the educational system, according to News International. UNESCO also will organize an annual forum of media, politicians and members of the public in an attempt to enhance awareness of HIV/AIDS-related issues, especially those dealing with prevention education. UNESCO also will assist in conducting studies on socio-cultural issues, such as HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination (News International, 5/21). Director of UNESCO in Pakistan Jorge Sequira said the agency also will support and implement HIV/AIDS prevention and education programs aimed at illiterate adults, Pakistan's Business Recorder reports (Business Recorder, 5/21). Pakistan has recorded about 2,610 HIV/AIDS cases, but health officials estimate that as many as 70,000 to 80,000 Pakistanis were living with the disease in 2002 and 2003 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/11).

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