UNICEF, the UN children’s fund, says currently there are more than 10-million AIDS orphans worldwide. It projects that by the year 2010, that number may rise to more than 20-million.
Most of the AIDS orphans are in sub-Saharan Africa. UNICEF is calling for programs that ensure these children get an education. Also, the UN organization says efforts must be made so children are able to keep and maintain their parents homes and not forced to take jobs that require hard labor.
Some non-governmental organizations have predicted the number of AIDS orphans will be much, much higher in the years to come. For example, the FXB Foundation says the number could be as high as 100-million with the next 10 to 15 years.
It’s currently estimated there are 40-million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with more than 5-million people becoming infected last year. English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua spoke with Wivina Belmonte, a UNICEF spokeswoman in Geneva, about the organization’s latest report.