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© UNICEF Algeria/2005/Oulmi
UNICEF Representative Raymond Janssens and Algeria’s Minister of Health and Population, Amar Tou, looking at a UNICEF display during the UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS campaign launch.

By Faycal Oulmi

ALGIERS, Algeria, 23 December 2005 – Algeria launched the UNICEF UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS global campaign in a ceremony chaired by Algeria’s Minister of Health and Population, Amar Tou, and UNICEF Representative Raymond Janssens on 20 December 2005.

“The AIDS virus is among us; there is still no treatment, only prevention,” said Raymond Janssens who introduced the campaign by calling attention to the children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS and the importance of recognizing children as the hidden face of AIDS. “We need to act now and inform all young people to protect themselves”.

UNICEF’s Representative also stressed the importance of the participation of all sectors of society in the campaign, from civil society, NGOs, the media, private and public sectors to children, parents and teachers. Janssens also addressed the country’s adolescents and children, calling them into action and encouraging them to talk about HIV/AIDS so they can inform and protect themselves.

Also speaking at the launch Algeria’s Minister of Health and Population, Amar Tou, assured the full participation of the government in the campaign and announced the creation of a National Committee on children and HIV/AIDS in the Algerian National Committee for fighting HIV/AIDS.

The campaign launch was attended by over 200 people, including representatives of UN agencies, NGO’s, members of the diplomatic corps, school directors, teachers, students and scouts. The President of the Algerian Muslim Scouts, and parliamentarian, Noureddine Ben Braham, spoke about how the country’s scouts will help mobilize civil society in support of the campaign.

The event, which attracted much media coverage, ended with a live performance from a group of teenagers from the national NGO ‘Association Santé Sidi El Houari’ from Oran. They performed a self-penned Hip Hop song about HIV/AIDS, adding a unique Algerian touch to this latest launch of UNICEF’s UNITE FOR CHILDREN  UNITE AGAINST AIDS global campaign.








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