A medida que la crisis en la República Árabe Siria entra en su tercer año, y los titulares de los diarios se centran en los enfrentamientos militares y los esfuerzos políticos para resolver la crisis, el mundo no debe olvidar las realidades humanas en juego.
A man holds his 2-year-old son, Azid, who has an ear infection, and a prescription at a basic health unit for people displaced by the earthquake, in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. Providing health services is just one of the ways UNICEF responds to an emergency.
By Rachel Bonham Carter
NEW YORK, USA, 18 January 2006 – On the 3rd day of the UNICEF Executive Board’s First Regular Session for 2006 governmental delegates took part in a ‘pledging session’, promising vital funds for UNICEF. These pledges provide the core funding for UNICEF’s life-saving work in humanitarian emergencies like the recent earthquake in Pakistan – and improving the lives of children and women in 157 countries around the world. Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director, thanked the donors and explained that their contributions ensure that UNICEF’s work continues uninterrupted.
Other budgetary matters on the agenda included a report on thematic funding in support of the Medium-Term Strategic Plan, and discussion of the work plan and proposed 2006 budget for the Private Sector Division.
Study on Violence Against Children
Rima Salah, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, reported on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence Against Children, which is to be presented to the UN General Assembly in September. She used as a case study the example of children who are trafficked from poorer countries to the United Arab Emirates to work as camel jockeys.
“My message is that all partners should work together to solve a problem,” said Ms Salah. “For example, in the case of trafficking, [collaboration between] countries that receive the children and the countries of origin of the children is a good example of partnerships to solve a very grave problem.”
Returning for the afternoon session, delegates were given an update on what UNICEF is doing in emergency humanitarian response by Dan Toole, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes. He thanked the Board for their generosity, which helped UNICEF reach a record $1 billion in emergency income.
“We gave them an update in progress in Pakistan,” said Toole of his report to the Board. “It it’s been 100 days since the earthquake and the devastation in Pakistan. One million children have been immunized, over half a million have gone back to school and are getting into classrooms, but we’ve still a lot to do. We’ve distributed 110,000 kits for the winter, but there are still half a million more to distribute to keep kids out of the cold.
“A lot of our key supporters are sitting in this room,” he continued. “A lot of our donors are members of the Board – so it’s a way of thanking them and telling them we’re doing what we said we would do.
“We also told them if we’re going to be the leaders in water, supply and sanitation, nutrition, education and protection, we need more funds to be able to provide that support.”
Country Programme Documents
The Executive Board also heard today that the revised Country Programme Documents for 27 countries have been approved. The country programmes included are: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Liberia, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, the Russian Federation, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Viet Nam; and Palestinian children and women in Jordan, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Syrian Arab Republic.