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UNAIDS warns that progress is slowing and time is running out to reach the 2020 HIV targets

New HIV infections are rising in around 50 countries, AIDS-related deaths are not falling fast enough and flat resources are threatening success. Half of all new HIV infections are among key populations and their partners, who are still not getting the services they need

PARIS/GENEVA, 18 July 2018—UNAIDS is issuing countries with a stark wake-up call. In a new report, launched today in Paris, France, at an event co-hosted with Coalition PLUS, UNAIDS warns that the global response to HIV is at a precarious point. At the halfway point to the 2020 targets, the report, Miles to go—closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices, warns that the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. It calls for immediate action to put the world on course to reach critical 2020 targets.

“We are sounding the alarm,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Entire regions are falling behind, the huge gains we made for children are not being sustained, women are still most affected, resources are still not matching political commitments and key populations continue to be ignored. All these elements are halting progress and urgently need to be addressed head-on.”

HIV prevention crisis

Global new HIV infections have declined by just 18% in the past seven years, from 2.2 million in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2017. Although this is nearly half the number of new infections compared to the peak in 1996 (3.4 million), the decline is not quick enough to reach the target of fewer than 500 000 by 2020.
The reduction in new HIV infections has been strongest in the region most affected by HIV, eastern and southern Africa, where new HIV infections have been reduced by 30% since 2010. However, new HIV infections are rising in around 50 countries. In eastern Europe and central Asia the annual number of new HIV infections has doubled, and new HIV infections have increased by more than a quarter in the Middle East and North Africa over the past 20 years.

Treatment scale-up should not be taken for granted

Due to the impact of antiretroviral therapy roll-out, the number of AIDS-related deaths is the lowest this century (940 000), having dropped below 1 million for the first time in 2016. Yet, the current pace of decline is not fast enough to reach the 2020 target of fewer than 500 000 AIDS-related deaths.
In just one year, an additional 2.3 million people were newly accessing treatment. This is the largest annual increase to date, bringing the total number of people on treatment to 21.7 million. Almost 60% of the 36.9 million people living with HIV were on treatment in 2017, an important achievement, but to reach the 30 million target there needs to be an annual increase of 2.8 million people, and there are indications that the rate of scale-up is slowing down.

West and central Africa lagging behind

Just 26% of children and 41% of adults living with HIV had access to treatment in western and central Africa in 2017, compared to 59% of children and 66% of adults in eastern and southern Africa. Since 2010, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 24% in western and central Africa, compared to a 42% decline in eastern and southern Africa.

Nigeria has more than half (51%) of the HIV burden in the region and there has been little progress in reducing new HIV infections in recent years. New HIV infections declined by only 5% (9000) in seven years (from 179 000 to 170 000) and only one in three people living with HIV is on treatment (33%), although HIV treatment coverage has increased from just 24% two years ago.

Progress for children has slowed

The report shows that the gains made for children are not being sustained. New HIV infections among children have declined by only 8% in the past two years, only half (52%) of all children living with HIV are getting treatment and 110 000 children died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. Although 80% of pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral medicines to prevent transmission of HIV to their child in 2017, an unacceptable 180 000 children acquired HIV during birth or breastfeeding—far away from the target of fewer than 40 000 by the end of 2018.

“One child becoming infected with HIV or one child dying of AIDS is one too many,” said Mr Sidibé. “Ending the AIDS epidemic is not a foregone conclusion and the world needs to heed this wake-up call and kick-start an acceleration plan to reach the targets.”

Key populations account for almost half of all new HIV infections worldwide

The report also shows that key populations are not being considered enough in HIV programming. Key populations and their sexual partners account for 47% of new HIV infections worldwide and 97% of new HIV infections in eastern Europe and central Asia, where one third of new HIV infections are among people who inject drugs.

“The right to health for all is non-negotiable,” said Mr Sidibé. “Sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, prisoners, migrants, refugees and transgender people are more affected by HIV but are still being left out from HIV programmes. More investments are needed in reaching these key populations.”
Half of all sex workers in Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe are living with HIV. The risk of acquiring HIV is 13 times higher for female sex workers, 27 times higher among men who have sex with men, 23 times higher among people who inject drugs and 12 times higher for transgender women.

 “Communities are echoing UNAIDS’ call,” said Vincent Pelletier, positive leader and Executive Director of Coalition PLUS. “We need universal access to adapted prevention services, and protection from discrimination. We call upon world leaders to match commitments with funding, in both donor and implementing countries.”

Stigma and discrimination persists

Discrimination by health-care workers, law enforcement, teachers, employers, parents, religious leaders and community members is preventing young people, people living with HIV and key populations from accessing HIV prevention, treatment and other sexual and reproductive health services.

Across 19 countries, one in five people living with HIV responding to surveys reported being denied health care and one in five people living with HIV avoided visiting a health facility for fear of stigma or discrimination related to their HIV status. In five of 13 countries with available data, more than 40% of people said they think that children living with HIV should not be able to attend school with children who are HIV-negative.

New agenda needed to stop violence against women

In 2017, around 58% of all new HIV infections among adults more than 15 years old were among women and 6600 young women between the ages of 15 and 24 years became infected with HIV every week. Increased vulnerability to HIV has been linked to violence. More than one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, often at the hands of their intimate partners.

“Inequality, a lack of empowerment and violence against women are human rights violations and are continuing to fuel new HIV infections,” said Mr Sidibé. “We must not let up in our efforts to address and root out harassment, abuse and violence, whether at home, in the community or in the workplace.”

90–90–90 can and must be achieved

There has been progress towards the 90–90–90 targets. Three quarters (75%) of all people living with HIV now know their HIV status; of the people who know their status, 79% were accessing treatment in 2017, and of the people accessing treatment, 81% had supressed viral loads.

Six countries, Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Eswatini, Namibia and the Netherlands, have already reached the 90–90–90 targets and seven more countries are on track. The largest gap is in the first 90; in western and central Africa, for example, only 48% of people living with HIV know their status.

A big year for the response to tuberculosis

There have been gains in treating and diagnosing HIV among people with tuberculosis (TB)—around nine out of 10 people with TB who are diagnosed with HIV are on treatment. However, TB is still the biggest killer of people living with HIV and three out of five people starting HIV treatment are not screened, tested or treated for TB. The United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in September 2018 is an opportunity to bolster momentum around reaching the TB/HIV targets.

The cost of inaction

Around US$ 20.6 billion was available for the AIDS response in 2017—a rise of 8% since 2016 and 80% of the 2020 target set by the United Nations General Assembly. However, there were no significant new commitments and as a result the one-year rise in resources is unlikely to continue. Achieving the 2020 targets will only be possible if investments from both donor and domestic sources increase.
Ways forward

From townships in southern Africa to remote villages in the Amazon to mega-cities in Asia, the dozens of innovations contained within the pages of the report show that collaboration between health systems and individual communities can successfully reduce stigma and discrimination and deliver services to the vast majority of the people who need them the most.

These innovative approaches continue to drive the solutions needed to achieve the 2020 targets. When combination HIV prevention—including condoms and voluntary medical male circumcision—is pursued at scale, population-level declines in new HIV infections are achieved. Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is having an impact, particularly among key populations. Offering HIV testing and counselling to family members and the sexual partners of people diagnosed with HIV has significantly improved testing access.

Eastern and southern Africa has seen significant domestic and international investments coupled with strong political commitment and community engagement and is showing significant progress in achieving the 2020 targets.

“For every challenge there is a solution,” said Mr Sidibé. “It is the responsibility of political leaders, national governments and the international community to make sufficient financial investments and establish the legal and policy environments needed to bring the work of innovators to the global scale. Doing so will create the momentum needed to reach the targets by 2020.”


In 2017 , an estimated


  • 36.9 million [31.1 million–43.9 million] people globally were living with HIV
  • 21.7 million [19.1 million–22.6 million] people were accessing treatment
  • 1.8 million [1.4 million–2.4 million] people became newly infected with HIV
  • 940 000 [670 000–1.3 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses



Sophie Barton-Knott
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Progress has been made, but 'not at a sufficient speed to realize the SDGs': UN ECOSOC President

One week after zeroing-in on how to build sustainable, resilient societies, key players from around the world debated on Monday at United Nations Headquarters in New York, how to keep up the momentum to turn the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into a reality.

 Speaking at the opening of the major ministerial meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) as well as the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC President, Marie Chatardová, cited progress that, at first glimpse, looked positive.

She pointed to extreme poverty, saying that even at one-third of the 1990 value, it was still imprisoning 10.9 per cent of world’s population. Moreover, while 71 per cent have access to electricity - a 10 per cent jump - a billion people still remain in the dark.

“There is progress, but generally not at a sufficient speed to realize the SDGs by 2030,” Ms. Chatardová said.

Despite that backdrop, Ms. Chatardová argued that the 2030 Agenda was being translated into concrete policies and measures: “It seems new ways of making policies are taking root, with many examples of more inclusive and evidence-based approaches,” she said.

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UN Refugee Agency - vacancies in Trinidad & Tobago

  • 16 July 2018 |
  • Published in Notices

The start of the 21st century has seen UNHCR help with major refugee crises in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. We have also been asked to use our expertise to help many internally displaced by conflict and expanded our role in helping stateless people. In some parts of the world, such as Africa and Latin America, the 1951 Refugee Convention has been strengthened by additional regional legal instruments.

UNHCR now has more than 11,517 members of staff. We work in a total of 128 countries and our budget, which in its first year was USD $300,000, grew to USD $6.54 billion in 2016.

[ learn more about UNHCR ]

The following jobs are availabe

Position 1:                           

Title:                            Senior Programme Assistant

Contract type:               TA

Contract level:              G5

Duration:                      No later than 01/09/2018 until 31/12/2018, renewable subject to available funds and satisfactory performance

Application period:      15 July 2018 – 27 July 2018

Subject Line:                 ‘Senior Programme Assistant’


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Date Monday, 16 July 2018 19:35
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Position 2:                           

Title:                            Driver

Contract type:               TA

Contract level:              G2

Duration:                      No later than 01/09/2018 until 31/12/2018, renewable subject to available funds and satisfactory performance

Application period:      15 July 2018 – 27 July 2018

Subject Line:                 ‘Driver’


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Date Monday, 16 July 2018 19:32
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Position 3

Title:                            Communications/PI Associate

Contract type:               TA

Contract level:              G6

Duration:                      No later than 01/09/2018 until 31/12/2018, renewable subject to available funds and satisfactory performance

Application period:      15 July 2018 – 30 July 2018

Subject Line:                 ‘Communications/PI Associate’


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Date Monday, 16 July 2018 19:36
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Position 4:                           

Title:                            Admin/Finance Assistant

Contract type:               TA

Contract level:              G4

Duration:                      No later than 01/09/2018 until 31/12/2018, renewable subject to available funds and satisfactory performance

Application period:      15 July 2018 – 30 July 2018

Subject Line                  ‘Admin/Finance Assistant’


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Date Monday, 16 July 2018 19:33
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To apply:


send UNHCR Personal History Form (use Supplementary Sheet for extra space) and application/letter of motivation, resume to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and note in the subject line the respective post for which you are applying.

Please take note of the respective deadline dates for submission for each of these posts.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contactedCandidates will be asked to undergo a technical test and competency based interview.  

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

Although cities are often characterized by stark socioeconomic inequalities and poor environmental conditions, they also offer growth and development potential – making them central to the 2030 Agendafor Sustainable Development and a main focus of the third day of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Wednesday.

Through the inherently integrated nature of urban development, the 11th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) impacts a wide range of 2030 Agenda issues from sustainable consumption and production to affordable and clean energy along with health, sustainable transportation, clean water and sanitation. Basically, life on land.

According to the UN, cities are where the struggle for global sustainability “will either be won or lost.”

“Urbanization is one of the most important issues when it comes to sustainable development,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, told journalists at UN Headquarters in New York.  “We must make sure we do it right if we are to achieve the SDGs and move towards a world where we see an end to poverty, the protection of our planet and everyone enjoying peace and prosperity,” she added.

While SDG 11 pledges to make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable by 2030, local and national authorities are making uneven progress towards achieving that goal, according to the UN.  A new report by UN-Habitat and partners tracking SDG progress since their 2015 adoption coincides with the first review of SDG 11 at the HLPF.

At the current rate of expansion, over 700 cities will have populations of more than one million by 2030.

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UNICEF Job Vacancy - Comprehensive School Safety Framework Specialist (Sint Maarten)

  • 05 July 2018 |
  • Published in Notices

UNICEF Netherlands is seeking to hire an expert to guide this process in close coordination with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (MECYS) of Sint Maarten (Dutch side). The expert will be hired to start the process and identify the steps, build support and awareness for the process, and develop a roadmap for the full process together with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports.

  • Requirements

    • Advanced university degree in education or related field
    • Minimum 8 years of relevant work experience including on international level
    • Solid experience in developing the Comprehensive School Safety Framework together with government and community-based partners. 
    • Firm knowledge and understanding of the relevant global and regional institutions such as GADERRRES, WISS, UNISDR, CDEMA etc, and key documents and resources including SDGs, Sendai Framework for DRR, and the global Comprehensive Schools Safety Framework. 
    • Experience in policy work and coordination with national Government. 
    • Demonstrated project management, advocacy, and leadership skills.
    • Excellent command of English, both in written and oral communication

  • Full Details including how to apply


    On 6 September 2017, hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. The island of Sint Maarten was heavily affected with 90% of structures damaged. Sint Maarten is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Following the disaster, the Dutch National Committee for UNICEF commissioned an assessment of the education sector. In close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, primary schools, secondary schools and early childhood development centers were assessed. Though the education sector shows resilience, investments in the sector are needed to prepare for future disasters and ensure quality inclusive education.

    The government of Sint Maarten is committed to developing a full Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF) based on the global framework in support of The Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector and the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools. It is anticipated that the full process will take one to two years and include processes such as policy discussions and development, review and possible amendment of codes (labor code, building code etc.), curriculum review and inclusion of safety topics to the curriculum, teacher trainings etc., and awareness raising and roll out in the institutions and communities.

    Purpose of the job

    UNICEF Netherlands is seeking to hire an expert to guide this process in close coordination with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (MECYS) of Sint Maarten (Dutch side). The expert will be hired to start the process and identify the steps, build support and awareness for the process, and develop a roadmap for the full process together with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports.

    The specific objectives for this assignment are:

    • Facilitate and support the further development of the Safety and Emergency Response Guidelines for schools, early childhood development centers, culture- and sports facilities. 
    • Facilitate and support the continued roll out of the safety plans for schools, early childhood development centers, culture- and sports facilities etc. including further trainings for teachers and others.
    • Support and advise the MECYS Disaster Management Committee in the development of the Comprehensive School Safety Framework (CSSF). 
    • Build strong networks and relations with all relevant partners and stakeholders on the government and community based levels. 
    • Identify the necessary work stream and tasks needed to develop the CSSF. 
    • Develop a road map for the full process of implementing the CSSF on Sint Maarten 
    • Facilitate the implementation of the identified work streams and tasks needed for the establishment of the CSSF. 
    • Identify resources needed, provide advice, and report to the Project Lead for Sint Maarten in UNICEF Netherlands. 
    • Support the fundraising efforts for the project by UNICEF Netherlands and seek out new opportunities for partnerships and funding. 
    • Be a driving force for the process and provide expert advice to the ministry partners at all levels. 
    • Organize a participatory approach to involve stakeholders (children, parents, teachers, etc) in a community-based deliberative process together with the UNICEF Netherlands Community Mobilizer. 
    • Formulate indicators for quality assurance and monitoring purposes. 
    • Support the implementation of other UNICEF Netherlands education-related activities as necessary.

    Desired qualifications :

    • Experience from the Caribbean Region.
    • Experience with developing the three pillars of the CSSF, namely: Safe Learning Facilities, School Disaster Management, and Risk Reduction and Resilience Education. 
    • Experience with law reviews and amendment and corresponding budgeting processes .
    • Experience with capacity development and facilitation/ development of trainings and methodologies.

    Our offer The successful candidate will be offered a consultancy contract until the end of 2018, based on Sint Maarten, with possible extension depending on available funds.

    The contract is administered by the Netherlands National Committee for UNICEF. The preferred starting date is in August 2018.

    How to apply

    Potential candidates are invited to express their interest by submitting their CV and letter of motivation by 25 July 2018 to: Marieke Roelfsema, project lead Sint Maarten, mroelfsema@unicef.n


 What is UNICEFF

 Unicef in the Caribbean


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Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 


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Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago




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