Congo

Congo: EU grant towards education, the fight against drug abuse

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BRAZZAVILLE, 7 February (PLUSNEWS) - The EU has granted the UN Education Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) €750,000 (US $812,700) for an 18-month programme in the Republic of Congo (ROC) entitled "School reinsertion and the fight against drug abuse and sexually-transmitted diseases".
According to a news release issued on Wednesday, the contribution was made as part of ongoing efforts by the EU and UNESCO to help consolidate peace in the country.

The programme is to be jointly implemented by the EU, UNESCO, and the ROC Ministry of Territorial and Regional Development.

A 200-strong team will be responsible for implementing the project, which will consist of promoting literacy among youths living in zones affected by armed conflict and natural disasters, training permanent instructors for education campaigns against the use of drugs and the transmission of HIV/AIDS, teaching of civics, and rehabilitating schools.

During recent years of armed conflict in the ROC, drug abuse was widespread among youths enlisted in various militias.

The rate of HIV transmission in the ROC has reached alarming levels, and AIDS is now one of the primary causes of death. According to the Programme national de lutte contre le sida (the national programme for the fight against AIDS), 40 percent of hospital beds in urban and semi-urban areas are occupied by AIDS patients.

Although no hard figures are available regarding the rate of HIV infection among youths in the ROC, the age bracket of 15 to 24 years is widely known to be the most-at-risk group.

[ENDS]

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