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Private sector and Kanu Nwankwo play football in support of Children and AIDS campaign

Lagos, 3 December 2006 - As the World just marked the World AIDS Day, twelve companies and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Kanu Nwankwo engage in UNICEF special Football cup in support of the ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign.

The campaign was launched last year by UNICEF, UNAIDS and partners to call for more action in favor of children infected and affected by HIV-AIDS who have been the missing face of the HIV-AIDS fight. In Nigeria, the impact of HIV-AIDS on the lives of millions of children is still devastating.  Children who are affected and infected by the disease do not get the support, care and treatment they need.

‘I am proud to be associated to this life-saving campaign’, says Goodwill UNICEF Ambassador Kanu Nwanko, present at the event. ‘In June, I was able to see for myself the plight and suffering of children orphaned by AIDS in Enugu State. These young children, whose parents died, have to fend for themselves as they have nobody to take care of them. It was a heartbreaking experience that I will never forget.’

As the campaign calls for a wide partnership across all sectors, twelve companies operating in Nigeria are lending their support by sponsoring the Special UNICEF ‘Unite for children, Unite against AIDS Football Cup, which is taking place today at the Lekki British High School in Lagos. One of the major sponsors of the event is British Airways while other major sponsors include the Lekki British International High School and Standard Chartered Bank.

Nine teams from Standard Chartered Bank, First Inland Bank Plc, De-United Foods Industries Limited, Murphy Shipping & Commercial Services, UBA Plc, Accenture, Afrinvest, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Procter & Gamble  will compete  today against each other in a 15 minute five-a-side formation to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility towards children infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Other sponsoring companies are Zenith Bank and the Dangote Group.

The objective is to leverage resources for specific programmes for children who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The football tournament also starts the celebration of UNICEF 60th anniversary in Nigeria. ‘I am pleased to see these companies joining the Children and AIDS campaign, comments UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ayalew Abai. Public-private sector partnership is crucial to reaching all children with paediatric care, social and psychological support, protection and prevention programmes.



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