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Climate Change, AIDS Top Priorities for Aid Agency

Date: 31-Jan-07
Country: SWITZERLAND

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that climate change, which scientists say will bring more extreme weather, along with more frequent flooding and hurricanes, posed the gravest threat to poorest countries.

"The people most affected by climate change will be the world's most vulnerable ... the elderly, the disabled and the poorest of the poor," said the Federation's Secretary-General Markku Niskala in a statement.

"It is crucial that we invest heavily in making communities stronger and more resilient," he said.

The annual appeal includes some US$50 million for its work to combat AIDS in southern Africa. The disease is expected to kill more people over the next decade than all wars and natural disasters in the past 50 years, it said.

In southern Africa, which is bearing the brunt of the AIDS epidemic, the Federation aims to expand treatment and intensify its campaign against discrimination of victims.

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