In Panama, where UNICEF’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is located, the delegation will appraise the degree to which this country has embraced the United Nations presence in the “City of Knowledge,” an area located a few meters from the Panama Canal. “The members of the Executive Board will have the opportunity to witness the efforts of the entire United Nations system, not only to improve regional coordination, but also its collective response to poverty, inequities, inequalities, and social exclusion that have an effect on Latin American and Caribbean children in a very special way,” states Nils Kastberg, UNICEF’s Regional Director.
In Peru, on the other hand, the Executive Board delegation will focus their attention on a Latin American country in which UNICEF, its allies and other United Nations agencies contribute to make governments take action and neutralize threats affecting children and adolescents´ rights. These threats include, for example, the impact of HIV/AIDS on children; the violence that children experience within the family, the school and the community; the high level of chronic malnutrition; and, in general, the conditions of extreme poverty in which indigenous children live.
The journey in this South American country will include visits to UNICEF’s work sites in the province of Condorcanqui in the Amazon, close to the border with Ecuador, the city of Lima, and the Andean zone of Cusco at an altitude of over 3,300 meters above sea level. “The improvements in the lives of children we have achieved today are due to the cooperation of communities, government, and the support of UNICEF and other allies,” points out Guido Cornale, UNICEF’s Representative in Peru.
In Panama, several United Nations regional offices are represented such as the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The arrival of the regional office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is expected in the upcoming months, as well as part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Peru is a country that has progressively grown in the last few years (7 per cent of GDP in 2006), and has made a great effort to reduce inequity and extreme poverty among over 48 per cent of its population. The government of President Alan Garcia has taken as the essence of its social policy the reduction by 5 per cent of chronic malnutrition (from 24.1 to 19 per cent), and is striving for more efficient strategies to reduce poverty.
The members of the Executive Board delegation are, H.E. Javier Loayza Barea, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Bolivia to the United Nations, President of the Executive Board; H.E. Anders Lidén, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations (President of the Executive Board in 2008); members of the United Nations Permanent Missions of Sweden (Ann Mawe); Mauritania (Jiddou Ould Abderrahmane), Argentina (Maria Fabiana Loguzzo), and Ukraine (Andriy Nikitov), as well as Helene Corneau, Director of the UN and Commonwealth Division, Canadian International Development Agency.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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