UNICEF; Integrated Youth Development and HIV/AIDS Interventions in SNNPR
Ethiopia, with an estimated population of over 77 million, is one of the countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS is becoming a serious threat to social and economic development of the country. The rapid increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia is currently expanding to rural areas where over 85% of the population live.
Of particular importance is the fact that HIV prevalence is nearly twice as high among adolescent girls and young women as among adolescent boys and young men. Girls face additional problems due to the 'culturally prescribed' gender based discrimination and sexual violence and vulnerability to harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, early marriage, rape and abduction. 74% of adolescents are not in school and there are few opportunities and resources made available to them.
The UNICEF HIV/AIDS Programme aims at prevention of HIV/AIDS focusing on young people by building their capacity to protect themselves, seeking services and proactively participate in issues of their concern in their respective communities. The main emphasis will be on training of adolescents in running their Anti-AIDS clubs and youth associations, in peer counselling and dialogue facilitation as well as on training of trainers for life skills and leadership programmes. Special emphasis will be put on participation and empowerment of girls.
The programme is collaborating closely with local governmental and non-governmental implementing partners. The Austrian contribution will be for nine weredas (districts) in SNNPR which are relatively populous and are all on the main transport routes.