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Jackie Chan, UNICEF/UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador on 6-day mission to Cambodia and Viet Nam to highlight AIDS and landmines

HANOI/PHNOM PENH, 18 April 2005 - Action film superstar Jackie Chan will return to Cambodia and make his first official visit to Viet Nam in his capacity as a UNICEF and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.  

Chan, who has supported numerous charity efforts over the years, was named Goodwill Ambassador during a trip to Cambodia in 2004 in which he pledged to do “whatever I can”  to be a champion of children.

As a Goodwill Ambassador, Jackie Chan is committed to HIV prevention efforts and to ending stigma and discrimination against people living and affected by AIDS. He is also committed to ensuring children are protected in times of conflict and to raising awareness levels about the dangers of landmines. His mission to Cambodia and Viet Nam will help focus worldwide attention on these global issues which have a devastating impact on the lives of children and their families.

Cambodia, 20- 22 April

Chan, popularly known in Cambodia as “Chhin Long”, will visit school and community mine risk education and landmine and UXO (unexploded ordnance) removal projects in Battambang province, in the North West.

While the number of fatalities due to landmines and UXO has fallen substantially in Cambodia in recent years, they continue to pose a daily threat to the lives of children and families. Between 2000 and 2004 more than 4,000 people were killed or injured by landmines. More than 25 percent of the victims were children under 18 years-of-age, many had found and played with unexploded ordnances. There are an estimated 4-6 million landmines still buried in Cambodia, the legacy of three decades of conflict.

Viet Nam 23- 25 April

Chan will travel to Quang Ninh province, site of the spectacular Ha Long Bay, to view first-hand community-based programmes supporting children and family members living with HIV.   He will also visit a rural health clinic providing services to help prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. He will see how focused prevention efforts for pregnant women are being integrated into routine antenatal care services.

In Hanoi, Chan will meet with Buddhist monks and nuns who are providing care and support to children and adults living with HIV and meet with young adolescents at a ‘healthy living club’ to learn about their personal experiences in combating AIDS .

While Viet Nam has had one of the lowest official HIV prevalence rates in South East Asia (0.4%), infection rates are now on the rise. According to UNAIDS, an estimated 220,000 adults and children are living with HIV – the highest number in the region after Thailand and Myanmar. Around 40 percent of all new reported HIV cases today are among young people, demonstrating their vulnerability and the need for more comprehensive and far-reaching HIV prevention programmes. 

Note to Editors:

Goodwill Ambassadors are celebrities with a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of children. Highly talented in their own right, they all share an ability to bring children’s issues to global attention, to galvanise support from the public and leading decision makers, and to raise urgently needed funds for vital UN programmes.

Among the early UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors were such legends as Danny Kaye, Audrey Hepburn and the recently deceased Sir Peter Ustinov, who have been joined over the years by luminaries such as Sir Roger Moore, Jessica Lange, Harry Belafonte, Ricky Martin and football player George Weah.


A press conference will be held in both countries at the conclusion of each visit:

11:00am on Friday 22 April at the Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
9:00am on Monday 25 April at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi, Viet Nam

For further information, please contact:
In Thailand:

Shantha Bloemen, UNICEF Bangkok, +66 2 356 9407 or +66 1 906 0813, sbloemen@unicef.org
Tani Ruiz, UNICEF Bangkok, +66 2 356 9499 ext. 9535 or +66 4 758 0894, truiz@unicef.org

In Cambodia:
Mark Thomas, UNICEF Cambodia, +855 23 426 214-5, ext. 206 or +855 12 553 594, mthomas@unicef.org
Tan Try, UNICEF Cambodia, +855 23 426 214-5, ext. 203 or +855 12 827 445, trtan@unicef.org

In Viet Nam:
Madeline Eisner, UNICEF Bangkok, +66 1 701 4626, meisner@unicef.org
Susan Spencer, UNICEF Viet Nam, +84 4 942 5706 -11 ext.210 or +84 91 239 1053, sspencer@unicef.org
Trinh Anh Tuan, UNICEF Viet Nam, +84-4 942-5706-11, ext. 234, tatuan@unicef.org

In Switzerland:
Dominique De Santis, UNAIDS, +41 22 791 4509, desantisd@unaids.org




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