First field visit of UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde F Johnson to CEE/CIS region
Moldova is the first country visited by Hilde F Johnson since her appointment to this position
CHISINAU, 22 October 2007 - On her first field visit, the new UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde F Johnson visited Moldova and met high level officials on October 8-9. The visit resulted in excellent advocacy with high level decision making for ensuring that all Moldovan children benefit from the recent economic growth.
Three major priorities for children of Moldova, highlighted during the visit are continuation of the deinstitutionalization process, increased efforts for HIV prevention and creation of an Ombudsperson for Child Rights function.
Hilde F Johnson met with the Speaker of the Parliament, Prime-Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, ministers of health and youth, social protection, family and child, as well as heads of parliamentary commissions. Hilde F Johnson has also met people living with HIV and other beneficiaries of UNICEF work in Moldova.
Reforming the residential care system
Increased efforts in the field of HIV/AIDS
Hilde F Johnson stated that the infection with HIV/AIDS is rapidly spreading. “Rapid spreading of the infection affects children as well: they become infected, as orphans, they are rejected by society, some are even denied access to education and health care. The epidemic is not likely to be stopped without increased efforts for education in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and without reduced stigmatization of people living with HIV.”
And Moldova is ranking 3rd among CIS countries (after Russia and Ukraine) in terms of annual HIV-incidence. Though the number of HIV/AIDS cases is limited, it is constantly and rapidly increasing. On December 31, 2006, the overall number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Moldova was 3,400. The heterosexual transmission has become the main transmission route. HIV incidence among adolescents aged 10-19 increased five times within 2002-2006 in Moldova.
UNICEF operates in over 150 states and territories to help children survive and have a better life. Being the main vaccine distributor in the world, UNICEF supports programs in health care, nutrition, access to fresh water and sanitation, quality education for all boys and girls, child protection against violence, exploitation and AIDS. UNICEF is entirely financed by voluntary donations of individuals, private companies, foundations and governments.