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Asian Cricket Council and UNICEF Join Hands for Global AIDS Campaign

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and UNICEF have renewed their international partnership for children for another two years, under which they will support// the global campaign on HIV/AIDS 'Unite For Children, Unite Against AIDS'.

The two bodies will also promote the right of all children to enjoy healthy recreation and promote girls' education in South Asia, said the ACC here after the signing of the agreement.

UNICEF's regional office for South Asia and the ACC, which represents 22 cricket boards in the continent, first signed a two-year agreement in 2004 ahead of the Asia Cup held in Sri Lanka.

"UNICEF's partnership with the ACC is very important to us," said Cecilia Lotse, UNICEF's regional director for South Asia.

"In South Asia, cricket can help get over vital messages that could save the lives of millions and improve the lives of billions."

ACC chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq said the health of the young is of paramount importance to his organisation.

"Child welfare is an integral part of any successful society and we trust that Asia's success in cricket will be duplicated by the success in UNICEF's vital campaigns. We are proud to play our part in raising awareness of these important causes," he said.

An estimated 1,00,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS in South Asia.

The agreement between UNICEF and the ACC, which lasts till 2008, has led to major events promoting girls' education in Pakistan, Bangladesh and at the Asia Cup in 2004.

As part of the campaign, the UNICEF regional office produced a film "Meena" promoting the right of girls to play and go to school. The film features a cartoon character and school friends playing cricket against other girls.

(Source: IANS)

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