UN Day marked in Addis Ababa
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ETHIOPIA: UN Day marked in Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA, 24 October (PLUSNEWS) - The war against HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia has yet to be won, despite the fact that infection rates remain at 2001 levels, said Dr Getachew Demeke, acting head of UNAIDS, on Friday.

Ethiopia has the third-highest number of people in the world living with the HIV virus, but is now receiving massive financial support - around US $200 million - to combat its spread. "It could have spread like a forest fire, but a great deal has been done, and we are going in the right direction," said Getachew.

His comments coincided with UN Day, when senior officials of 13 different UN agencies in Ethiopia gave an account of the successes they had achieved and what more needed to be done.

Sam Nyambi, the UN country representative, told journalists that many challenges remained in Ethiopia, one of the world's 10 poorest countries. However, he said, "If you look at the situation in Ethiopia, you must ask what would have happened if this totality of efforts - from the government, the partners, the UN - had not been there. Obviously the country would be in a much more worse-off situation".

Bjorn Ljungqvist, who heads the UNís Childrenís Fund, said that greater financial resources needed to be made available to the country. Ethiopia receives only US $12 per capita, whereas the African per capita average is $25.

He went on to note that the country's human resource of 70 million people had been massively under-utilised. "In a country where education has so often been left behind, how can you have the human resources to be able to address all the multiple challenges of development?" he asked.


Recent ETHIOPIA Reports

New film depicts the suffering of women living with HIV, †6/Jan/04
Tackling HIV/AIDS through music, †9/Dec/03
Feature - Tackling HIV/AIDS, †1/Dec/03
Interview with UNAIDS head Bunmi Makinwa, †28/Nov/03
New anti-AIDS strategy underway, †23/Oct/03


AIDS Law Unit
National AIDS Commission of Malawi
Catholic AIDS Action
Regional AIDS Initiaitive of Southern Africa (RAISA)
Positive Action Lesotho

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