The United Nations Foundation (UNF) announced today a major new round of investments totaling more than $17 million to support 11 UN projects around the world. Special focus in this round of funding was given to support women’s health projects, including HIV/AIDS prevention programs.
“This is our sixth round of funding. We are pleased to support the Secretary General and the UN’s efforts to alleviate poverty and strengthen global cooperation in the 21st century,” said Tim Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “We are particularly proud of the strong package of projects aimed at reducing the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa,” Wirth said. Among the projects receiving funding are efforts aimed at:
Curbing the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa: The Foundation will invest more than $6 million to help fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa. In one grant, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) will develop an integrated, multisectoral approach to responding to the growing epidemic in Zimbabwe. In a separate grant, UNAIDS will work to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Zambezia province of Mozambique by developing the capacity of youth and other members of the community to build awareness and leadership on the epidemic. These awards follow-up on the UNF Board’s November, 1999 visit to Southern Africa, where it saw first-hand the profound impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Improving the Lives of Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh: In two grants, UNF will provide more than $3 million to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to help meet the basic needs and human rights of adolescent girls in six rural districts of Bangladesh. UNICEF will work to improve the social and economic situation of adolescent girls by developing and enhancing their livelihood skills through internships and employment opportunities. UNFPA will address issues of adolescent reproductive health care while stressing the importance of informed decision-making concerning all aspects of personal life, including family life and education.
Assisting Relief Efforts in Mozambique: The UNF Board approved an emergency grant of $1 million to support relief efforts for the thousands of individuals who have been displaced from their homes as a result of the massive flooding in Mozambique. Relief funding is urgently needed in Mozambique to prevent widespread disease, an escalating death toll and untold human suffering.
Brief descriptions of all projects receiving funding in the March, 2000 round follow, with links to the full grant descriptions.
Women and Population
Project Title: An Initiative for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh
Recipient: UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Grant Amount: $2,291,100 over three years
This project aims to improve the social and economic situation of adolescent girls in Bangladesh. A major focus of this project will be to train members of Kishori Sanghas (adolescent girls’ groups) in livelihood skills through internships and employment opportunities. Access to local resources and credit, as well as to savings programs, will be provided to expand opportunities for girls. The project will help reshape and strengthen girls’ status within the family and community. The project will work with approximately 15,000 girls aged 12-19, in rural districts of Bangladesh.
Project Title: An Initiative for Improving Reproductive Health of Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh
Recipient: UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
Grant Amount: $808,489 over three years
This project aims to improve the reproductive health of adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh. To address issues of reproductive health care, the project uses peer education to introduce the concept of “personal social education” which emphasizes the individual’s need to make informed choices about all aspects of personal life, including family life and education. A participatory approach – adolescents are part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation – will be used in this project.
Project Title: Social Licensing of Reproductive Health Clinics in Honduras
Recipient: UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
Grant Amount: $2,513,338 over three and one half years
The goal of this project is to test and develop a new model for non-governmental (NGO) delivery of quality reproductive health services. A “social license” will be offered to individuals who have the capacity to run their own businesses and have an understanding of reproductive health. The health clinics will provide comprehensive family planning services, detection and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, obstetric and gynecological services, cervical cancer detection and treatment, pharmacy and other services to anyone visiting the center, regardless of income, gender, age or marital status. This project expects to provide services to more than 450,000 low-income women, men and adolescents, with a special emphasis on young single women who are sexually active but have no children and are not using contraception.
Project Title: Joint UN Support to HIV/AIDS in Zambezia Province, Mozambique
Recipient: Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
Grant Amount: $2,751,000 over three years
HIV/AIDS poses a serious threat to future development in Mozambique. An estimated 1.2 million Mozambiquan adults and children are living with HIV/AIDS. The north-central Zambezia province, one of the most populous in Mozambique, has the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the country. This project aims to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Zambezia province by developing the capacity of youth and other members of the community to build awareness and leadership on addressing HIV/AIDS. Youth-friendly heath services will provide voluntary confidential counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS, distribution of condoms, treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases, family planning and HIV/AIDS and sexual education. Counseling and health services for those who test positive for HIV will also be provided, as well as guidance for those living with HIV/AIDS.
Project Title: District Initiatives on HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
Recipient: Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
Grant Amount: $3,500,000 over 3 years and 10 months
Zimbabwe faces one of the world’s worst AIDS epidemic, with about 25% of the adult population infected — and nearly everyone impacted in one way or another. This project represents an integrated, multisectoral approach for responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe. For example, peer education programs will be employed to enhance self-esteem and create a social environment that enables young people to partake in safe behaviors. Advocacy efforts to increase the political, religious and private sector commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS are also part of the plan. The project also provides safe economic alternatives to prostitution for women supporting themselves and their families and introduces ways to meet the needs of the growing number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Project Title: HIV & Development – Southern Africa
Recipient: UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Grant Amount: $73,000 over three months
AIDS in Southern African is among the great political, economic and social challenges. According to UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, seven out of 10 people newly infected people with HIV in 1998 live in sub-Saharan Africa; among children under 15, the proportion is nine out of 10. Of all AIDS deaths since the epidemic started, 83% have been in the region. Yet only one-tenth of the world’s population lives in Africa south of the Sahara. UNDP will use this grant to develop a coordinated strategy and plan of action aimed at reducing the social and economic impacts and costs of HIV/AIDS on families, communities and productive sectors in Southern Africa.
Project Title: World Heritage Biodiversity Sites – Filling Critical Gaps and Promoting Innovative Approaches to New Nominations
Recipient: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Grant Amount: $599,550 over two years
Many key ecosystems and entire geographic regions lack representation on the World Heritage List. This project will assist UNESCO in identifying priority sites to be included and in encouraging their formal nomination to the list. The specific areas targeted include coastal, marine and small island ecosystems; tropical karst areas (karst areas – rich in endemic biodiversity and highly vulnerable to disturbance – are characterized by a limestone base and include caves, aquifers, underground streams, and abundant vegetation cover); and tropical forest sites in Southeast Asia (particularly those that are transnational in nature).
Project Title: China Motor System Energy Conservation Program
Recipient: UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Grant Amount: $1,520,000 over three years
Overall, electric motor systems account for more than 50% of China’s electricity use. Major opportunities exist to improve the efficiency of these systems, including optimizing design and improving operations and maintenance practices. This project seeks to improve the efficiency of electric motor systems in China, leading to economic and environmental benefits with a focus on Shanghai and Shandong provinces. UNF funding will support UNIDO’s efforts to pilot an efficient motors initiative that will promote improvements in motor design and operating practices.
Peace, Security and Human Rights
Project Title: Early Warning and Preventive Measures – Building Capacity for Conflict Prevention
Recipient: UN Staff College (USC)
Grant Amount: $510,300 over one year
The costs of post-conflict peacekeeping, peace enforcement, humanitarian assistance and reconstruction have risen dramatically, which has led to the recognition of the need for enhanced efforts to prevent conflict. This project will enable the UN Staff College, in collaboration with the UN Department of Political Affairs, to provide conflict prevention training for UN staff in eight subregional field locations. Approximately 400 UN field staff, non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives and country-level national staff will participate in the training. The professional capacity of the staff will be enhanced to recognize potential crisis situations, and to analyze, recommend, and apply strategic conflict prevention measures in collaboration with NGOs and other partners.
Project Title: Civil Society Participation in the World Conference Against Racism
Recipient: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Grant Amount: $1,500,000
In 1997, the UN General Assembly authorized the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to be held in South Africa in 2001. The conference will focus on action-oriented, practical steps to eradicate racism, such as prevention of, education about and protection from racism, as well as the provision of effective remedies. UNF funding will support the OHCHR to organize the upcoming World Conference. Specifically, UNF support will promote NGO participation in the conference and in its preparation, as well as strengthen OHCHR’s internal capacity to organize and manage the global human rights agenda.
Project Title: Humanitarian Relief in Mozambique
Recipient: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Grant Amount: $1 million
The World Food Programme reports an estimated 300,000 women, men and children are in need of emergency rescue or relief as a result of the massive flooding in Mozambique. The World Health Organization estimates that 800,000 are potentially at risk for water-borne diseases such as cholera, malaria and meningitis. The UNF Board approved an emergency grant of $1 million to support relief efforts for the thousands of individuals who have been displaced from their homes and lost so much. Rapid relief funding is urgently needed in Mozambique to prevent widespread disease, an escalating death toll and untold human suffering.
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.