|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The Asia and the Pacific region faces a number of serious, but preventable, social and health challenges that bring about lasting negative impacts on human development and economic growth. This includes new HIV infections, a significant proportion of which occur among young people under age 25. Injecting drug use, unprotected sex between men, and unprotected transactional sex are driving the HIV epidemics in the region. Young people are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection for social, political, cultural, biological and economic reasons. In Asia and the Pacific, HIV prevention efforts have been hampered by discrimination towards vulnerable groups, gender disempowerment in negotiating safe sex, and social attitudes that tolerate gender-based violence.
ADB has been providing a range of technical assistance to its Developing Member Countries (DMCs) to address public health and development issues, and has taken a leadership role in promoting and financing cross-sectoral activities to build HIV/AIDS awareness for vulnerable and at-risk populations. These strategies include collaborating with and leveraging the resources of regional partners to step up interventions designed to prevent the spread of HIV. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of Asian football, one of six confederations recognized by the F d ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the global governing body of the world's most popular sport. In addition to its responsibilities to regulate the game, conduct major competitions, and boost grassroots and youth football, the AFC has initiated Dream Asia to fulfil its commitment to social development with its 46 member associations. Since 2009, Dream Asia has provided a solid foundation of using football as a tool for social change, including the promotion of nutrition and preventing gender based violence.
The value of football for development is widely recognised and there are many examples of projects where sports are used to address social issues in different sectors. For example, in 2013, UNAIDS and FIFA launched the Protect the Goal campaign to promote the global HIV strategy of zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination, which will continue with events on the African continent and in the Caribbean region leading up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Similarly, football's massive popularity in Asia is an opportunity to extend these efforts in the region.
AFC is now updating its 10-year strategic social responsibility plan. Through the framework, AFC will focus its outreach activities on, inter alia Health, Youth Development & Education, Persons with Disabilities, and Nutrition. This TA presents an important opportunity to initiate a long-term collaboration with AFC, its corporate sponsors, and member national football associations on Dream Asia. This TA has the potential to deliver great value by concentrating on AFC's areas of comparative advantage in promoting healthy lifestyle among youth through national and regional sports icons. The promotion of safe sex to prevent HIV is well aligned with AFC's interest in promoting healthy living, such as responsible alcohol consumption, not smoking, and maintaining an active lifestyle.