|© UNICEF Mozambique/2008|
|UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman is greeted by Mozambican children at a transit centre in the city of Beira.|
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 1 August 2008 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann. M. Veneman, concluding a three-day visit to Mozambique, announced $3 million in additional support for UNICEF’s nutrition programmes in the country.
“An estimated 41 per cent of children in Mozambique suffer from chronic malnutrition,” said Veneman. “These resources will help children and their families who are at high nutritional risk.”
Veneman met with the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, Prime Minister Luisa Diogo and senior government officials. They discussed continuing socio-economic progress and current challenges.
Food prices and AIDS threaten progress
Mozambique is one of Africa’s leading examples of effective post-conflict reconstruction and economic recovery. The country has experienced an 8 per cent average annual economic growth in recent years.
The under-five child mortality rate in Mozambique has been reduced by 42 per cent since 1990. It is one of the few developing countries to experience a significant decline in maternal mortality, putting the country on track to meet the MDG targets on child and maternal mortality.
However, this progress is threatened by rising food prices as well as the AIDS pandemic.
Veneman visited Sofala, a province with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the country. While there, she visited a community obstetric care facility and programmes for children made vulnerable by AIDS.
UNICEF works on the ground in more than 150 developing and transitional countries to help children survive and thrive. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF works to advance the Millennium Development Goals by supporting child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, access to clean water and sanitation, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation and AIDS.
About the UNICEF Executive Director:
Ann M. Veneman assumed the leadership of UNICEF on 1 May 2005, becoming the fifth Executive Director to lead UNICEF in its 60-year history. Prior to joining UNICEF, Veneman served as Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.
At UNICEF, Veneman directs a global agency of over 10,000 staff and annual total resources of more than $3 billion, funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, businesses, foundations and individuals. Since assuming the position of Executive Director, she has traveled to more than 40 countries, witnessing firsthand the work of UNICEF, speaking at meetings and conferences, and visiting heads of state or government and other partners.