ECHO funds UNICEF to Continue Revitalization of Essential Health Services in North of Mali
BAMAKO/BRUSSELS, 29 May 2013 – The European Union will continue its partnership with UNICEF to combat maternal and child mortality, including malnutrition in Mali by funding vital and life-saving interventions to vulnerable women and children. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) provided 930,000 Euros to support UNICEF work in Mali, bringing ECHO’s total contribution to UNICEF to 6.5 million Euros for the period of 2012-2013.
This latest financial support is aimed at scaling up and sustaining child survival interventions and contributes to the reduction of morbidity and mortality of populations affected by the conflict in the northern regions of Mali. It will ensure an improved access to continuous and uninterrupted supply of essential medicines for basic health services.
UNICEF will be able to continue its support to the Government of Mali and other operational partners by supporting 53 health facilities with the provision of essential medicines that will benefit over half a million people, including over 110,000 children under the age of five. Once the revitalization work is concluded, concerned communities will receive treatment, medicines, and therapeutic food. Actions will target the most vulnerable children in hard to reach areas in the regions of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal.
Mali has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world and some of the highest global acute malnutrition rates in the west and central Africa, thus the revitalization of health services in Northern Mali will be pivotal for the wealth being of communities.
“There is an urgent need to scale up life-saving interventions in order to address unmet needs and prevent associated mortality and morbidity in Mali,” said Françoise Ackermans, UNICEF Mali Representative. “In Mali our strategy is a cross cutting strategic approach where women and children are provided access to protection, education, hygiene, immunization, malaria prevention, and nutrition services; to build resilience within the communities in the most vulnerable zones. With the renewed partnership and support by ECHO, we hope our efforts to reduced mortality and morbidity in hard to reach zones will be reinforced,” Ackermans ended.
“Basic health and nutrition services in the North of Mali are far from being restored as a result of persisting insecurity, the difficulty to access certain health structures and a lack of qualified personnel", said Cees Wittebrood, Head of the East, West and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean Unit in ECHO. "To make matters worse we are now also dealing with cholera and measles epidemics which require coordinated response and prevention actions. The European Commission’s humanitarian department is committed to helping the most vulnerable people in Mali in these particularly trying times. We believe support to UNICEF as an essential partner for the delivery of essential medicines and therapeutic foods to treat undernourished children will make a real difference.”
Since the Humanitarian Emergency situation in the North started in early 2012, The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has helped UNICEF to provide immediate and life-saving interventions to vulnerable women and children in high risk regions. The additional support announced today will make a vital difference in the lives of women and children in Mali.
UNICEF works in more than 190 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.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
About European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channeled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors. In 2012 alone, it provided over 70 million Euros for UNICEF’s projects worldwide to support children.
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