Agence France Presse (10.21.03) - Wednesday, October 22, 2003
A two-day meeting of donors, UN aid agencies and advocacy
groups ended Tuesday in Geneva with agreement to boost efforts
to help the growing number of children - mostly in sub-Saharan
Africa - orphaned by AIDS. UNICEF and UNAIDS said in a
statement that they had decided to improve support for
families and education for at least 14 million AIDS orphans.
Some 80 organizations discussed an estimate by UNAIDS that $1
billion is needed for the improvements.
By 2001, 14 million youngsters had lost one or both parents to
HIV/AIDS, with about 80 percent of cases occurring in sub-
Saharan Africa. "The number of people orphaned by AIDS is
projected to rise to at least 25 million by 2010," Peter Piot,
the chief of UNAIDS, said at the meeting.
"The crisis of orphans and other children made vulnerable by
HIV/AIDS is massive, growing and long-term," said UNICEF
Executive Director Carol Bellamy. "But two-thirds of countries
hard hit by the disease do not have strategies to ensure
children affected grow up with even the bare minimum of
protection and care," she added.