On 6-day mission to Cambodia and Viet Nam to highlight AIDS and landmines
HANOI/PHNOM PENH, 18 April 2005
Action film superstar Jackie Chan will return to Cambodia and make his first official visit to Viet Nam in his capacity as a UNICEF and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.
Chan, who has supported numerous charity efforts over the years, was named Goodwill Ambassador during a trip to Cambodia in 2004 in which he pledged to do “whatever I can” to be a champion of children.
As a Goodwill Ambassador, Jackie Chan is committed to HIV prevention efforts and to ending stigma and discrimination against people living and affected by AIDS. He is also committed to ensuring children are protected in times of conflict and to raising awareness levels about the dangers of landmines. His mission to Cambodia and Viet Nam will help focus worldwide attention on these global issues which have a devastating impact on the lives of children and their families.
Cambodia, 20- 22 April
Chan, popularly known in Cambodia as “Chhin Long”, will visit school and community mine risk education and landmine and UXO (unexploded ordnance) removal projects in Battambang [pronounced battam-bon] province, in the North West.
While the number of fatalities due to landmines and UXO has fallen substantially in Cambodia in recent years, they continue to pose a daily threat to the lives of children and families. Between 2000 and 2004 more than 4,000 people were killed or injured by landmines. More than 25 percent of the victims were children under 18 years-of-age, many had found and played with unexploded ordnances. There are an estimated 4-6 million landmines still buried in Cambodia, the legacy of three decades of conflict.
Viet Nam 23- 25 April
Chan will travel to Quang Ninh province, site of the spectacular Ha Long Bay, to view first-hand community-based programmes supporting children and family members living with HIV. He will also visit a rural health clinic providing services to help prevent HIV transmission from mother to child. He will see how focused prevention efforts for pregnant women are being integrated into routine antenatal care services.
In Hanoi, Chan will meet with Buddhist monks and nuns who are providing care and support to children and adults living with HIV and meet 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 South East Asia (0.4%), 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. Around 40 percent of all new reported HIV cases today are among young people, demonstrating their vulnerability and the need for more comprehensive and far-reaching HIV prevention programmes.
A press conference will be held in both countries at the conclusion of each visit:
11:00am on Friday 22 April at the Hotel Le Royal, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
9:00am on Monday 25 April at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi, Viet Nam