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Oct 28, 2004

UNICEF donates $50K U.S. to HIV/AIDS fight

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It may seem like a rain drop in a desert, but any amount of money to combat HIV and AIDS in Belize is welcomed. According to UNICEF’s representative in Belize, Nadya Vasquez, some fifty thousand U.S dollars has been donated to ensure that the National Plan of Action becomes a reality. The contribution from the United Nations Children’s Fund comes out of a commitment to assist the Government and people of Belize in the fight against HIV and AIDS. In September, both the United Democratic Party and the People?s United Party endorsed the N.P.A. which establishes specific priorities for public investment in the areas of health, education, child protection, family, HIV/AIDS and culture.

Nadya Vasquez, Country Representative, UNICEF

?It?s more to organise the community, to support families and children and have services, integrated services in coordination with governmental agencies, NGO?s, to attend to people living or affected by HIV and AIDS.?

Jacqueline Woods

?And UNICEF will be overseeing all of this??

Nadya Vasquez

?Yes, it is really to try to coordinate a local effort and have an example of communities that is working in this issue, but is working with all of the sectors, all of the families, all of the members of the community because the only way to fight against the epidemic is to have an integrated response.?

Sandra Hall, Chairperson, NCFC

?Oh it is very important because you know in the past we have lacked funding to address the issue of HIV/AIDS in Belize generally. But in particular with regards to the children, OVCs– orphans and vulnerable children–whose needs have not been addressed in the past so this is very important. So in Dangriga, it?s a very active society and we want to encourage them mobilise them even further through financial support.?

The financial contribution was made possible through the U.S based Kimberly Clark Foundation. UNICEF says it will continue to provide technical support and funds as part of its agreement with the country until 2015.

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