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Italians collect signatures for children affected by HIV and AIDS

Huge banner dominates the Colosseum

ROME, 14 April 2007 – Italian organizations have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the needs of children affected by HIV and AIDS at a ceremony today at Rome’s Colosseum. Twelve organizations participating in Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS, launched by UNICEF and UNAIDS in 2005, are asking the public to sign a petition urging leaders to fulfil their commitments on HIV and AIDS.  In addition, a 9x30m banner showing the campaign logo has been hung at the Colosseum – the symbol of Rome across the world.

The general public will be able to sign the petition at 1,000 different locations across Italy until the end of May. It urges the Government of Italy to:

• meet internationally-agreed financial targets for HIV and AIDS;
• ensure that 20 per cent of its funding for HIV and AIDS goes to interventions to benefit children;
• raise awareness of HIV and AIDS among adolescents and young people and promote their participation in the response;
• increase funds for research and access to treatment.

Eleven organizations have joined the Italian National Committee for UNICEF to support Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS in Italy: Amnesty International – Italian Section; ANLAIDS; Archè; CESVI; Cittadinanzattiva; Comunità di Sant’Egidio; Italian Red Cross; LILA; Medicins Sans Frontieres – Italy; Save the Children – Italy; and Terre des Hommes – Italy.

Today’s ceremony was attended by representatives of the twelve organizations, the Mayor of Rome – Walter Veltroni – and many celebrities, and was made possible with the support of the Municipality of Rome and the Italian Ministry of Culture. The banner has been hung by the special unit (SAF) of the Fire Department of the City of Rome – Goodwill Ambassadors of the Italian Committee for UNICEF.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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:  www.unitiperibambini.it




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