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Campaign to kick off during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™
Tokyo, Japan, 24 March 2010 -- Sony Corporation is partnering with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to bolster the global fight to end poverty by 2015, with a special focus on the campaign to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS.
Stopping the rise of HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases is one of eight key Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) UN member nations are striving to achieve within the next five years. The other goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to establish universal primary education; to promote gender equality; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to ensure environmental sustainability.
The partnership's AIDS-awareness campaign in Africa, called "Public Viewing in Africa," will focus on bringing health information to vulnerable communities in Cameroon and Ghana. This summer, Sony will set up large screens to broadcast live, for free, approximately 20 FIFA World Cup matches, allowing people in areas where TVs are scarce to see the matches*1. Throughout the games, UNDP, JICA and local partners will also be offering the viewers HIV and AIDS counseling, and advocacy materials. Both countries' national football teams will be participating in the World Cup, to be held in South Africa this June and July.
"The World Cup brings people together, both as teams, and as nations cheering on their players. The same can be true for the Millennium Development Goals," said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. "There can be no spectators in the fight against poverty. Everyone has a role to play in scoring the 8 Millennium Development Goals, which if reached would improve the quantity and quality of life for many hundreds of millions of people across developing countries."
This year, by conducting the joint project during the biggest sporting event of the year, the World Cup, the partners aim to attract approximately 13,000 participants, and ensure there are approximately 1,800 recipients of HIV tests.
"FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa is a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm the world's solidarity with Africa," said JICA President, Sadako Ogata. "Sony, UNDP and JICA together will take a step forward to open the door to be closer to Africa. Collaborative efforts between people in Africa and all over the world are indispensable to bring about global peace and prosperity."
Although football is the most popular and closely followed sport in Cameroon and Ghana, the countries are characterized by low rates of household TV penetration (22 percent in Cameroon, and 21 percent in Ghana) with many people unable to watch football matches on TV and support their home country.
"I am delighted that Sony can contribute to the prevention of HIV and AIDS through our partnership with JICA and UNDP, while also delivering great football experiences to the people of Cameroon and Ghana through our cutting-edge technology and sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup*2," said Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President, Sony Corporation. "Sony will continue to support the UN's efforts to achieve the MDGs, as a central part of our ongoing CSR activities."
UNDP and Sony will be working together on several global initiatives throughout the year to advocate for the Millennium Development Goals through the use of Sony's advanced technology, and its worldwide presence.
JICA and Sony conducted a similar joint project in Ghana in July 2009, and it was a great success. Some 9,000 people gathered in seven cities to watch Sony's high-definition broadcasts of football matches, about three times the typical attendance. About 1,100 young people and adults visited the HIV and AIDS testing sites and took the HIV test - again about three times as many people as usual.
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $79 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009. Sony Global Web Site: www.sony.net/
UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. Please visit: www.undp.org
JICA is advancing its activities around the pillars of a field-oriented approach, human security, and enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, and speed. JICA contributes to the promotion of international cooperation as well as the sound development of Japanese and global economy by supporting the socioeconomic development, recovery or economic stability of developing regions. About hundred offices are located worldwide to promote projects that meet local needs. www.jica.go.jp/english/