Kenya Needs $70M Annually To Assist Children Affected by HIV/AIDS, UNICEF Says
Kenya needs about $70 million annually to assist approximately 1.2 million Kenyan children who are affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a UNICEF official said Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF representative to Kenya, said that the problem of AIDS orphans could not be tackled without the support of government and international aid organizations. "An annual subsidy of $60 per child would amount to $72 million a year for fostering households where a parent is dying of AIDS, to provide for children's needs and welfare, including sending them to school," Alipui said. Following the introduction of free, compulsory primary education in January by the ruling National Rainbow Coalition, 20% more orphans are enrolled in basic education classes, meaning that an additional one million children are enrolled in school, according to Agence France-Presse. Alipui said, "We advocate for official resources from the government budget for Kenya's orphans and channeling funds from international relief programs, including food aid directly to communities and households with the heaviest burden of orphans." He added that although some orphans' extended families were able to manage their care, "it is unrealistic to assume that the children can escape from stigma, poverty and death without massive direct official support from the government and other stakeholders." UNICEF estimates that by 2010, 2.2 million orphans will live in Kenya (Agence France-Presse, 6/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.