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United Nations Foundation Announces $16 Million For United Nations Programs - Special Focus on Youth and HIV/AIDS

New York, NY —   December 20, 2000

The United Nations Foundation (UNF) announced today a major new round of investments totaling more than $16 million to support UN projects around the world. The fall 2000 round of grants directed major funding toward two areas of special emphasis - reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, especially among youth, and promoting clean energy development in key countries.

"We are extremely proud of this strong package of community-based projects addressing the social, economic and health challenges associated with HIV/AIDS in Africa," said Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. "Nowhere is the need for international support and cooperation so pressing as this region of the world." Among the projects receiving funding are efforts aimed at:

Reducing the Spread of HIV/AIDS: The Foundation will invest more than $12 million to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout Africa. In one project, UNICEF will initiate and build upon existing Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) prevention activities in eight Southern African countries - the region hit hardest by the AIDS pandemic. In a separate grant, UNF will support UNFPA efforts to change risky youth behavior in Angola through youth-to-youth programs and introducing life skills training for in-and out-of-school adolescents.

Promoting Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Services: In three grants, UNF will provide more than $1.7 million to help the UN meet the energy needs of developing countries in an environmentally sustainable manner. UNF support will help UNDP leverage needed resources from the Brazilian government, private sector, domestic financial institutions and Inter-American Development Bank to provide off-grid, renewable energy services to poor communities in Brazil. Two separate planning grants will support design of financial mechanisms to increase energy efficiency investment in Brazil, China and India, and support renewable energy services in China.

Brief descriptions of all projects receiving funding in the November, 2000 round are attached.

Population and Women

Project Title: Involving Youth in HIV/AIDS Programmes in the Northern Province of South Africa
Amount: $2.3 million over 18 months

South Africa is currently experiencing one of the most rapidly progressing HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world - with an estimated 60% of all adults acquiring HIV before age 25. This project aims to combat HIV/AIDS in South Africa by involving youth in the design and implementation of prevention programs through peer counseling, education and supporting social structures. The project will pay particular attention to the needs of adolescent girls and the specific vulnerabilities they face. UNF will contribute $2.3 million over 18 months for this $4.5 million, 36-month project. UNF staff will work with project managers and the UN to help identify the additional resources needed to complete the project.

Project Title: Improving the Quality of Reproductive Health Services for High Risk War Affected/Displaced Adolescent Girls and Other Vulnerable Youth in Angola 
Recipient: UNFPA
Amount: $1.5 million over 18 months

Since the resurgence of war in Angola in 1998, the capital city of Luanda and other provincial capitals have been inundated with displaced populations, including large numbers of unaccompanied youth. Many of these youth are sexually active, few use contraception or take precautions against HIV/AIDS and STDs, and many often engage in health threatening behavior. This project aims to improve adolescent reproductive health by using behavioral change strategies developed and implemented by youth for youth; introducing life skills training for in- and out-of-school youth; and increasing access to information and education through a multi-channeled communication strategy targeting youth, their families and communities. UNF will contribute $1.5 million over 18 months for this $3 million, 36-month project. UNF staff will work with project managers and the UN to help identify the additional resources needed to complete the project.

Project Title: Joint National Partnership Support to Combat Transmission on HIV/AIDS among Adolescent Girls and Youth in Lesotho
Recipient: UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in Lesotho
Amount: $1.3 million over 18 months

In Lesotho, young women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to HIV - girls constitute 81% of reported HIV infected cases in the 11-20 age group. The goal of this project is to ensure appropriate sexual and reproductive health care and education for adolescent girls in order to reduce their HIV/AIDS prevalence by five percent in the hardest hit districts of Mokhotlong and Maseru by 2003. The project will also support the implementation of the National AIDS Strategic Plan and the National Youth Policy by (a) improving the access of adolescent girls to appropriate reproductive health services; (b) improving access to relevant quality education and life skills training; (c) strengthening national policy on education and reproductive health; and (d) creating employment opportunities in the selected districts. UNF will contribute $1.3 million over 18 months for this $2.6 million, 36-month project. UNF staff will work with project managers and the UN to help identify the additional resources needed to complete the project.

Project Title: Joint UN Support to Develop Regional Capacity in Swaziland to Combat HIV/AIDS among Adolescents 
Recipient: UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in Swaziland
Amount: $1.1 million over 18 months

Over the past decade, Swaziland has seen a rapid increase of HIV prevalence. Currently, it is among the five worst affected countries in the world. This project will enhance the capacity of the four regions of Swaziland to provide a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention and care program. In particular, the project will strengthen capacity on the community level to deliver prevention activities conducted by youth for youth; provide voluntary counseling and testing services; and provide care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS and affected family/community members. UNF will contribute $1.1 million over 18 months for this $2.1 million, 36-month project. UNF staff will work with project managers and the UN to help identify the additional resources needed to complete the project.

Project Title: Adolescent Program Initiative in Southern Africa
Recipient: UNAIDS
Amount: $2 million over 18 months

The AIDS pandemic has hit sub-Saharan Africa the hardest, with 24.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the region. The Adolescent sub-Regional Program will link nine country-level projects in Southern Africa, which focus on similar themes and community-based approaches. Through sub-regional linking and coordination, the program will facilitate sharing of experiences and lessons learned, promote effective country and sub-regional monitoring and evaluation, and help build new partnerships and attract additional resources for community-level work on HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. UNF will contribute $2 million over 18 months for this $3.8 million, 36-month project. UNF staff will work with project managers and the UN to help identify the additional resources needed to complete the project.


Project Title: Promotion of Sustainable Markets for Renewable Energy Services in Rural Regions of Brazil
Recipient: UNDP
Amount: $1,613,843 over four years

Recent studies indicate that 20 to 40 million people lack access to electricity in Brazil, the majority in the rural areas of the North/Northeast regions of the country. This project aims to promote sustainable market-based business delivery models and establish institutional supporting infrastructure to provide off-grid renewable energy services to poor rural communities in Brazil, while reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also promote income generating and productive use activities with the renewable energy services to ensure the financial sustainability of the service enterprises and improving people's quality of life.

Project Title: Promotion of Commercialization of Village-Scale Renewable Energy Services in Remote Areas of China
Agency Request: UNDESA
Amount: $75,000 over six months

Throughout remote and poor areas of China, more than 80 million people lack access to electricity. This planning grant aims to create sustainable rural renewable energy enterprises and demonstrate sustainable business and financing models for off-grid renewable energy development. Specifically, the grant will select project sites, conduct market surveys, identify local implementation partners and develop a comprehensive project proposal to address the energy needs of the rural poor at a reasonable cost.

Project Title: Developing Financial Intermediation Mechanisms for Energy Efficiency Projects in Brazil, China and India
Recipient: The World Bank
Amount: $100,000 over six months

Although studies have shown that the potential for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction from energy efficiency projects in Brazil, China and India - three of the largest GHG emitting developing countries - is significant, a number of financing barriers has inhibited large scale commercial investment in energy efficiency projects in the three countries. This planning grant aims to address the financing challenge and catalyze a substantial increase in energy efficiency investments in developing countries, specifically from domestic commercial financial institutions.

Children's Health

Project Title: Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS: Field Implementation in Eight Developing Countries
Recipient: UNICEF
Amount: $4,000,000 over two years

More than one million children in Africa are currently infected with the HIV virus and at great risk of dying from AIDS. The major cause of HIV/AIDS among children under 15 years of age is the transmission of HIV from mother to child (MTCT) during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. This project builds on a UNF-supported pilot phase by expanding MTCT activities in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing private sector partnerships and further strengthening the basic infrastructure for community-based support of MTCT. The pilot projects demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of two specific drug regimens to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS to infants and the use of alternative breast-feeding practices for HIV positive mothers.

Institutional Strengthening

Project Title:
International Initiative to Forge Key Partnerships and Mobilize New Resources for HIV/AIDS
Recipient: UNAIDS
Amount: $821,100 over two years

UNAIDS coordinates the UN's - and the world's - overall response to the global HIV/AIDS crisis. This project aims to decrease the gap between the massive global need, and the current level of resources available to combat the AIDS pandemic. UNF support will help UNAIDS forge key partnerships with entities outside the UN system in order to mobilize additional resources and develop ways to channel funds more effectively to those communities in need.

Project Title: Enhanced Resource Mobilization for Polio Eradication 
Recipient: WHO
Amount: $940,000 over two years

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative - led by WHO and its partners, UNICEF, Rotary International and the CDC - aims to interrupt the transmission of the polio virus in all countries and certify the world polio-free by the year 2005. Currently, the Initiative faces critical funding gaps - a $450 million shortfall - to eradicate polio by the target date. This project seeks to enhance WHO's public sector resource mobilization efforts to ensure that funds are raised rapidly and prevent potentially harmful resource constraints in 2001.

Project Title: UNTV Coverage of UNF/UNFIP Field Activities
Recipient: UNDPI
Amount: $399,000 over two years

As one of the UN's most successful video information products, "UN in Action" - produced by UNTV - is a television news feature series that describes UN efforts around the world. Over a two-year period, this project aims to produce an additional 25 features on UNF/UNFIP supported field activities. These news items, produced in five languages, will educate the global public about UN development efforts and the impact UN projects have made in the lives of thousands of people worldwide.

Project Title: Global Compact
Recipient: UN Secretariat
Amount: $450,000 over three years

At the 1999 World Economic Forum in Davos, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed the "Global Compact," an initiative seeking to promote responsible global citizenship by advancing universal human values in business operations around the world. This project will promote outreach to the transnational private sector, encouraging businesses to engage in "corporate responsibility" and become partners with the UN in the environmental and social arenas.


The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.