The UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia and the ACC first signed a two year agreement in 2004 ahead of the Asia Cup. The Asian Cricket Council represents 22 cricket boards in Asia and aims to promote and develop the sport in the region. The new partnership runs until 2008.
“UNICEF’s partnership with the Asian Cricket Council is very important to us,” said Cecilia Lotse, Regional Director for UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. “Children are often overlooked in the AIDS agenda as well as in the response. There are still also too many children, particularly girls out of school and an uneducated person is more at risk from avoidable diseases including AIDS. In South Asia cricket can help get over vital messages that could save the lives of millions and improve the lives of billions.”
An estimated 100,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS in South Asia. Globally, AIDS is redefining the very meaning of childhood for millions. The pandemic has deprived children of the care, love and affection of their parents, taken away the chance of education and hope for the future while leaving them more vulnerable to exploitation.
The ACC Chief Executive, Syed Ashraful Huq said, “As a development body for South Asia’s most popular sport, the health of the young is of paramount importance to us. Child welfare is an integral part of any successful society and we trust that Asia’s success in cricket will be duplicated by the success in UNICEF’s vital campaigns. We are proud to play our part in raising awareness of these important causes.”
Unite for Children, Unite against Aids is a global partnership campaign that is putting children back on AIDS agenda. Its main aims are to ensure childhood treatment, protection, while working to prevent infection in young people and helping stop mother to child transmission.
The agreement between UNICEF and the Asian Cricket Council has led to major events promoting Girls Education in Pakistan, Bangladesh and at the Asia Cricket Cup in 2004. A full ‘Meena’ film promoting the right of girls to play and go to school featuring the cartoon character and school friends playing cricket against other girls was produced by the UNICEF Regional Office.
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information, please contact:
Martin Dawes, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, Tel. +977 1 441 7082 or +977 985 1040 961
Syed Ashraful Huq, Asian Cricket Council Secretariat, Tel. +603 2095 9594