UNAIDS welcomes the announcement from the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres of the appointment of Catherine Russell as the new Executive Director of UNICEF. Ms Russell will begin her new role in January 2022, taking over from Henrietta Fore who held the position since January 2018.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Henrietta Fore for her inspirational work on behalf of the world’s children and warmly welcome Catherine Russell as UNICEF’s new Executive Director,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We look forward to working closely with Ms Russell in our fight to end inequalities and end AIDS among children.”
Despite medicine being available to prevent HIV infection among children, in 2020, around 150 000 children became newly infected with the virus, bringing the total number of children living with HIV around the world to 1.7 million. In 2020, while 74% of adults aged 15 years and older living with HIV had access to treatment, just 54% of children aged 0-14 years had access to the life-saving medicine.
UNICEF and UNAIDS work together to ensure all children are born free from HIV, and that all children and adolescents living with, and affected by HIV have access to the treatment, care and support they need to thrive.