Refugees to get UN help on AIDS front

Kathmandu, November 29:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have joined hands with the refugees in camps in eastern Nepal and locals to organise an awareness-raising concert commemorating the World AIDS Day on December 1, said a joint statement issued by the UNHCR and WFP here today.

The concert, the first of its kind to take place in the refugee camps, will convey messages to both the refugees and the locals of the surrounding communities on awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS, with a particular emphasis on the importance of getting tested for HIV and knowing one’s HIV status, said the statement.

International reggae artist from the Caribbean, Jerry Julian, and his reggae band from Kathmandu will join refugee singers and musicians as well as local artists on stage. A mobile Voluntary Counselling and Testing unit, provided by the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), an implementing partner, will be on site during the concert to provide free testing services. “HIV/AIDS is much more than just an issue facing certain communities like IV-drug users or sex workers. It is something that the government, NGOs, UN agencies, and individual citizens must fight collectively,” the statement quoted Richard Ragan, WFP Representative in Nepal, as saying.