The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today that it has joined with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in a two-year project to reduce the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis in a dozen Arab and Asian countries through education.
The OPEC Fund, a multilateral development finance institution established in 1976, is to provide $2,250,000 for the project, which will focus on information and education, assistance to ministries, teaching programmes and curriculum enhancement.
The countries involved are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Viet Nam. The project will 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.
It will also build on advocacy programmes 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, Laos and southern China.
To be implemented by UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning, in cooperation with National Commissions for UNESCO and education ministries, the initiative will complement the UNESCO-led Global Initiative on HIV/AIDS Prevention Education that aims to strengthen education ministries' ability to meet the teaching, learning and management needs generated by the pandemic.