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Newly appointed Director of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Office in the Caribbean, Dr. Kwame Boafo, has said that the agency would sustain its HIV/AIDS initiative in Jamaica, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Youth.
Speaking at his official introduction, at the UNESCO Office in Kingston on September 20, Dr. Boafo said that the project, which primarily sought to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS through education, was primarily funded by the Government of Japan, along with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, and the Global Fund.
The initiative, he informed, would be undertaken from 2006 to 2008 and would focus on areas such as, strategic planning, professional development, and the design and production of educational materials.
“UNESCO and the Japanese Government will continue to support the Ministry of Education and Youth in strengthening the sector’s response to HIV and AIDS under the initiative that is referred to as ‘EDUCAIDS’, that is, education in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Dr. Boafo explained.
He also said that the support from UNESCO and the Government of Japan formed part of a larger international assistance framework on preventive education programmes, and that Jamaica is currently one of several countries, and the only island in the Caribbean region, that is involved in the project.
Dr. Boafo said that as the new Director, he would ensure that UNESCO maintained its relevance in the region through the development of programmes, which would serve the needs of the Caribbean people.
“We recognize the need for greater visibility of our organization in the Caribbean, and we are currently embarking on new programmes geared toward keeping the general public informed of our on-going work with their governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and at the same time engage them in dialogue that will indicate to us what are their needs and interests,” he said.