Ethiopia + 2 more

IOM press briefing notes 23 Apr 2004: Haiti, Ethiopia, Zambia

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Spokesperson: Jean-Philippe Chauzy

HAITI- IOM Will Partner Haitian Government in Redevelopment - IOM, which plans to re-open its office in Haiti in May, yesterday participated in a consultative meeting between the government, international donors and multilateral agencies in Port-au-Prince.

The meeting was opened by Haitian Prime Minister Gérard Latortue, who highlighted the need to focus on security challenges, democratic elections in 2005, restarting the economy, and poverty reduction. Haitian President Alexandre Boniface reinforced the commitment of the government to partner with the international community in moving forward quickly and in a spirit of full inclusion of all parts of Haitian society.

IOM Regional Representative Frances Sullivan stressed the importance of community-based initiatives, strengthening the linkages between communities and the government at all levels, building capacity across the public sector, and fostering mechanisms to encourage investment from the diaspora.

IOM's US-funded Communal Governance Program in Haiti ran for two and a half years between 1994 and 1997, helping to implement over 2,300 community projects, including schools, markets, small bridges, water supply, sanitation and agricultural support projects.

Other organizations attending the meeting, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, UNDP, CARICOM, the OAS, WHO, and La Francophonie, as well as several donors, including Canada, the European Commission, France and the USA, assured the Haitian government of their support. Priority areas of action will be jointly identified in an upcoming Interim Cooperation Framework mission, led by the government of Haiti and supported by donors and agencies.

For more information, please contact Frances Sullivan, IOM Regional Representative for North America and the Caribbean, at fsullivan@iom.int.

ETHIOPIA - School Contest on Trafficking, HIV/ AIDS and Girls' Education - IOM Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Ethiopian Teachers' Association (ETA) will tomorrow launch a nation-wide school contest involving 185 schools from regions throughout the country.

Students representing junior high and high schools will answer questions on issues of human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and girls' education to win prizes. The winners of the contest will be awarded with funds to contribute towards their tuition fees during the coming academic year and radio equipment for their schools.

The school contest is an integral part of the ''Debterachin: Our Exercise Book" project launched in November 2002 by IOM Addis Ababa in partnership with the Women's Affairs Department at the Ministry of Education.

The overall objective of this US-funded project is to support the Ethiopian Government's efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the prevention of human trafficking within and/or from Ethiopia. It has the aim of sensitizing students in grades 7-10 on pertinent issues regarding trafficking and HIV/AIDS while encouraging them to pursue their education, both in schools and within the informal sector.

Five hundred thousand exercise books and ten thousand T-shirts containing simplified messages illustrated by cartoons warning students of the risks of migrating for work using illegal channels, unprotected sex and dropping out of school were distributed in the 185 schools since September 2003.

IOM has also trained, in cooperation with the ETA, more than 350 teachers in junior high and high schools from all the regions at eleven selected sites. The training provided trainees with information on trafficking, HIV/AIDS and girls' education as well as skills necessary for providing counselling to students on these subjects. The school contest is a mechanism by which IOM intends to assess the level of success attained by the training of teachers.

The contest will create a public forum for students to discuss a broad range of trafficking, HIV/AIDS and education issues while having fun. It will be held in ten regional cities and the capital Addis Ababa. Between 150-200 students are expected to attend the event at each of the sites.

For further information, please contact Mr. Yitna Getachew at IOM Addis Ababa. Email: iom.yitna.getachew@wfp.org. Tel.+ 251-1-51 16 73.

ZAMBIA - Action Against HIV/AIDS Football Camp -=A0IOM Zambia has organised a one-week Action Against HIV/AIDS soccer camp=A0for 50 boys and girls in the Ukwimi Refugee Resettlement Camp in Eastern Province.

Coaches from Zambian Football Coaches Association combined football sessions with a programme that educated the children about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, identified peer educators and taught leadership skills.

The project, implemented in partnership with Africare Zambia and supported by the Lutheran World Federation, UNHCR=A0and local government partners, was one of a number designed to limit the spread of the pandemic among the refugees and the local community.

Participants received a certificate after completing the soccer camp and will act as peer educators in and around Ukwimi.

Further information from Pär Liljert, IOM Lusaka. Email: iomlsk@zamnet.zm. Tel.+ 260 1 254055.