Nature hates Blacks: UN: Africa needs $1-billion a year for Aids orphans


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[AIDS is slaughtering people in Africa on a “Biblical scale”. Jan] Africa needs at least $1-billion a year to deal with children orphaned by HIV/Aids, the United Nations and the African Union said on Thursday. More than one in 10 children in Africa are already orphaned with numbers expected to hit more than 50-million children by 2010, officials said at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia.

“The impact on society is obviously enormous,” Bience Gawanas, the African Union”s commissioner for social affairs told journalists. “It can destabilise society because these children are vulnerable and they can be exploited and they can be abused.”

She said orphans often end up as child soldiers or prostitutes.

Douglas Webb, the UN Children”s Fund adviser on children and HIV/Aids, said that at least 25-million children will be orphaned by 2010 because of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

“We need at least $1-billion a year to try and address this crisis,” he said “But what we don”t know at the moment is where the money is coming from.”

The money would be used to help children attend school and pay for health care in just 16 of the worst affected nations in Africa.

Unicef estimates each child would need $300 a year to pay for schooling, food, clothes and health care.

In Ethiopia, which has almost five million orphans out of 46-million children, only five percent of the money has been found.

Gawanas and Webb said the topic should top the agenda at the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, next month, when the leaders of the world”s wealthiest countries are to discuss how to help Africa.

The African Union also accused African governments of failing the continent”s children by not living up to commitments to put children at the heart of their policies.

“Often for governments, children are an afterthought,” Gawanas said from the headquarters of the 53-nation bloc at the launch of a two-day summit on helping orphans.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where the number of orphans is increasing, mainly due to HIV/Aids. In 11 countries, more than 15% of children are orphans. One in five children in Botswana are orphaned. – Sapa-AP

Source: Daily Mail & Guardian

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