PRESS RELEASE: WORLD AIDS DAY

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Our battle against HIV/AIDS is not over yet, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life. Whatever our individual situation may be, we all need access to the tools to protect us from HIV and access to antiretroviral medicines whenever it is required. A life-cycle approach to HIV/AIDS that finds solutions for everyone at every stage of life can address the complexities of this pandemic. Risks and challenges change as people go through life, highlighting the need to adapt HIV prevention and treatment strategies from birth to old age.

YEMENI YOUTH: VOICING OUT THEIR HOPES FOR THEIR COUNTRY

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Together we can decrease the level of violence, raise awareness of our activities and save lives around the world. The impact of a day of global ceasefire and non-violence cannot be underestimated

-Jeremy Gilley

An end to the war in Yemen is the dream of every Yemeni youth and everyone else. All they want is to live a peaceful life and to be educated. Such simple dream and yet is out of reach. The question now is whether we can help them turn their dream into a reality?

In recent months, Yemen has descended into conflicts between several different groups, cornering the country "to the edge of civil war", according to the UN's special adviser. In fact one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world is currently unfolding in Yemen, since March 2015, thousands of civilians have been killed by conflict, eighty percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance and two thirds of the population do not have access to clean water and sanitation.

Inclusion of all Yemeni youth voices must be a fundamental feature of all stages of the transition process in Yemen, not just an end goal. This is a key recommendation emerging from safer world discussions with Yemeni youth to capture their views on long-term peace building in the country.

Yemeni activists’ young people inclusive, are keen to increase youth participation in the current circumstances and are working on ways to improve youth awareness and skill levels in their country. Support from both Yemeni and international policy-makers is seen as an essential to these ambitions, especially through directing international funding to a wider number of local NGOs and CSOs and more training programmes to give young people the right tools to engage themselves effectively.

According to UNICEF, more than 3600 schools have been forced to close. Many students have fled with their families to safer areas of the country without completing the end of their term exams. At least 248 schools have been directly damaged and 270 others are hosting Internally Displaced People (IDPs).

Yemenis are dying from deprivation, lack of medical care, clean water, or even proper sources of food. Furthermore, many children have lost their parents and relatives due to the ongoing war in Yemen. They are in urgent need to psychological, social and medical care. Many lost their relatives who were supporting them financially, forcing the children to enter labour force instead of studying. Moreover, many of the children and youth are physically affected, losing limbs and be permanently disabled.

Nearly fifty-four percent of all Yemenis, who number about 25 million, remain below the poverty line. Unemployment rates have risen to forty percent in general, and stand at over 60% amongst the youth. During 2013, the economic and security decline continued in Yemen, and suffering grew with attacks on oil and gas transport pipelines, electricity lines and internet and telephone cables.

The Youth in Yemen have used their newfound sense of dignity to create change that previous generations only dreamed about. Hence the so-called current situation progresses, the youth voice often get buried under individual interests and posturing action. Recognising this crisis, Yemeni youth that are residing in Malaysia and around the world desire a peaceful future of the nation by ceasing the war that is currently taking place.

In order to avoid these scenarios from taking deeper roots and to prevent the imminent devastation of Yemeni society, the international community should accelerate efforts to bring the conflicts to the negotiating table. This could be done through peaceful dialogues, where both parties can be heard, understood and come up with a solution together.

With so much apprehension on the current situation in Yemen, WAY firmly believes that taking every action necessary to increase youth connectivity and securing their right to peaceful and inclusive society is the key to achieving a sustainable development and stimulate social and economic benefits for the millions of young people in Yemen. We urge young people globally to voice out their pressing issues that affect their wellbeing and stand together in defending peace and justice.

Lets us all stand and extend our helping hands to the youth of Yemen to fight the current issues happening in their country.

Together we stand, divided we fall.