Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- The International Office of Migration (IOM) has unveiled a two-year HIV/AIDS awareness programme aimed at vulnerable populations in Somalia.
The programme, which is funded through UNICEF by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, will be carried out in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia in partnership with UNICEF, the three AIDS co mmissions in Somalia, and local partners.
As part of the US$1,7 million programme, community awareness and stigma reductio n activities will be carried out to reduce the incidence of HIV among key populations at higher risk of infection, including vulnerable women, t ruck drivers, khat and tea sellers, uniformed services, internally displaced people, migrants, and at-risk youth.
IOM said in a statement Wednesday that the programme would target transit areas associated with increased HIV risk behaviour, such as truck stops, ports, and border areas.
IOM will also provide grants to local non-governmental organisations to expand t heir capacity to coordinate services and respond to HIV and AIDS.
The adult HIV prevalence in Somalia is estimated at around one percent.
â?During the past two years, IOM has completed innovative and groundbreaking re search in close partnership with the Somali AIDS Commissions, UN, and local partners.
â?Together we have provided documentation that has led to a substantial reshapi ng of the national response towards key population groups,â? said Ashraf El Nour, IOM Regional Representative in East and Central Africa.
The programme is the result of a two-year research carried out by IOM in partner ship with UNAIDS, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, and the Somali AIDS Commissions in identifying the needs of those groups at higher risk of HIV infec tion.