As the pressure for better living conditions rises in the camps in the Harad district of Yemen—Community leaders representing internally displaced people are meeting more regularly “We are 10 people in my tent; we have been waiting for new supplies to arrive, why the delay?” said one of the leaders.
The Harad camps host more than 130 000 people affected by long civil unrest in Yemen. To survive, many people walk the seven kilometres to the boarder of Saudi Arabia, hoping to cross into a country that is seen as having more economic opportunities. Others rely on daily wages from jobs at construction, agriculture and fishing sites and yet many people depend on the food provided by host local community.
But most people are not aware of their increased vulnerability to HIV infection as they sometimes resort to high-risk behaviors to meet their basic needs.
Local authorities are concerned about the lack of HIV information and have partnered with UNAIDS and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to start an HIV awareness raising programme for displaced people.
“We know that HIV is escalating and can grow into a major epidemic—as we have seen this happen in other countries,” said Dr Majed Al Gonaid, Deputy Minister of Health.
Funded by OCHA, the programme is being carried out by the local NGOs Women Association for Sustainable Development (WSAD) and the For All Foundation for Development in partnership with the UNAIDS country coordinator.
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