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UN Ambassador Jackie Chan Takes On Aids

UN Ambassador Jackie Chan Takes On Aids, Landmines In Cambodia And Viet Nam

New York, Apr 20 2005

Action film superstar and United Nations ambassador Jackie Chan will take on the twin foes of AIDS and the lurking danger of millions of buried landmines in a <"http://www.unicef.org/media/media_26096.html">visit this week to Cambodia and Viet Nam.

His trip will help focus worldwide attention on these global issues which have a devastating impact on the lives of children and their families.

Hong Kong-born Mr. Chan will be making his second visit to Cambodia as a UN Children’s Fund (<"http://www.unicef.org">UNICEF) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (<"http://www.unaids.org/en/default.asp">UNAIDS) Goodwill Ambassador from 20 to 22 April.

The star, who was named Goodwill Ambassador during a trip to Cambodia last year when he pledged to do “whatever I can” to be a champion of children, will visit school and community mine risk education and landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) removal projects in Battambang province in the northwest.

While deaths due to landmines and UXO have fallen substantially in recent years, they still pose a daily threat to children and families. Between 2000 and 2004 over 4,000 people were killed or injured, 25 per cent of them children under 18, many of whom had found and played with unexploded ordnance. There are an estimated 4 million to 6 million landmines still buried in Cambodia, the legacy of three decades of conflict.

Mr. Chan will be making his first official visit to Viet Nam in his capacity as Goodwill Ambassador from 23 to 25 April, when he will view first-hand community-based programmes supporting children and family members living with HIV.

In Hanoi, he is scheduled to meet with Buddhist monks and nuns who are providing care and support to children and adults living with HIV, as well as with young adolescents at a “healthy living club” to learn about their personal experiences in combating AIDS.

While Viet Nam has had one of the lowest official HIV prevalence rates in Southeast Asia at 0.4 per cent, infection rates are now on the rise. According to UNAIDS, an estimated 220,000 adults and children are living with HIV, the highest number in the region after Thailand and Myanmar.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

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