A new UN-backed programme entitled “HIV/AIDS incidence reduction among young people in Southern and selected Eastern regions of Ukraine” has started its operations

A new UN-backed programme entitled “HIV/AIDS incidence reduction among young people in Southern and selected Eastern regions of Ukraine” has started its operations. The programme was launched in mid-March this year. It is financed by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and is implemented jointly by the three UN-agencies: UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

A new UN-backed programme entitled “HIV/AIDS incidence reduction among young people in Southern and selected Eastern regions of Ukraine” has started its operations

A new UN-backed programme entitled “HIV/AIDS incidence reduction among young people in Southern and selected Eastern regions of Ukraine” has started its operations. The programme was launched in mid-March this year. It is financed by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and is implemented jointly by the three UN-agencies: UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

A new UN-backed programme entitled “HIV/AIDS incidence reduction among young people in Southern and selected Eastern regions of Ukraine” has started its operations

A new UN-backed programme entitled “HIV/AIDS incidence reduction among young people in Southern and selected Eastern regions of Ukraine” has started its operations. The programme was launched in mid-March this year. It is financed by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and is implemented jointly by the three UN-agencies: UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This joint two-year project will be implemented in Ukraine’s five regions, including Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Kherson, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

It is planned that the project would determine the driving forces behind the epidemic escalation in these regions, create safe environment for the use of multi-sectoral response to the epidemic, and conduct specialised trainings in strategic planning for Ukrainian counterparts.

Specifically, the project’s activities would include a public awareness campaign, informing the public and local communities about HIV-related risks. It is planned that representatives from vulnerable groups – people, who are at higher HIV-risk (intravenous drug users, commercial sex-workers, men, having sex with men, homeless children) and people, living with HIV/AIDS – would actively participate in the planned campaign actions.

Within the project’s implementation, its experts will prepare training materials for a specialised ‘peer-to-peer’ course, which would be based on HIV-prevention techniques, promoting healthy and safe lifestyles and aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency rates, educating about human-trafficking and social crisis prevention.

Project’s main partners are NGOs, central and local governments, business enterprises, schools and training centres.

On 13 March the project started in Simferopol, Crimea, with signing of an Agreement on Cooperation between Crimean Government and the UN-agencies (on the photo). The agreement sets out cooperation activities till 2009.

On 19 March a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Mykolayiv.between Mykolayiv Regional State Administration and the three UN-agencies participating in the project.

According to the official data, Mykolayiv region is one of the most affected by HIV-epidemic in Ukraine: as of December 2006, the number of officially registered HIV-cases increased by 19 per cent comparing with the same period in 2005.

Sergiy KARTSEV, Deputy Head of the Mykolayiv Regional State Administration, said that the amount of more than 200,000 USD the project plans to disburse in the region, would be used for prevention works, while he promised to personally monitor where the money would be spent. “I usually sign statistic data on HIV deaths in the region and I know that our youth, within 20-40 age groups, stand behind those grim numbers. They could work and bring benefit to society as a whole. That’s why we will use very strict control measures on each kopiyka spent to avoid any misuse of these donor funds, ensuring that we could look into the eyes of our people without any shame,” he added.

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For more information, please, call the project's Component Manager, Nataliya Gryshchenko, or Communications Officer, Oksana Skytalinska, at tel.: (+38 044)2538290. A UNDP-led Governance of HIV/AIDS Project.