09 July 2024

UNICEF Guinea-Bissau Annual Report 2023

Guinea-Bissau marked 50 years of independence in 2023. It was a year of hope and challenges. The political crisis last year, at times, left programmes unattended, but UNICEF with its partners continued supporting the Government to deliver essential services for children.You can read about our achievements in this 2023 annual report which I have great pleasure in sharing with you. Some highlights included a National Forum on Primary Health Care held in February 2023, which UNICEF supported the Ministry of Health to organize. It was an opportunity for partners to identify ways to overcome challenges in access, quality and use of essential health services, particularly for disadvantaged groups. Preventing malnutrition continued to be a major focus. Significant achievements included our testing of a simplified Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition protocol, and upgrading the skills of health professionals and community health workers in seven priority regions.Progress continued in ending open defecation. In fact, Guinea-Bissau is one of the few countries in the region that is on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal for sanitation if the current pace of 300 new open defecation-free villages per year is maintained. In education, the first-ever preschool curriculum for 5-year-old children was validated. The curriculum, developed with UNICEF’s assistance, provides the Ministry of Education with a guide towards quality improvements for preschool teaching and pedagogy. In child protection, a notable achievement was the approval of the first Child Protection Policy and Action Plan. Also, UNICEF supported the introduction of a national case management system under the leadership of the Ministry of Social Action, Family and Women and the Institute of the Woman and Child.To cushion children from shocks and assist those living in poverty, UNICEF worked with sister UN organizations to support the Government’s efforts to build a robust national social protection system, focusing particularly on the elaboration of a social protection policy.Social and behaviour change communication continued to be integrated into each programme area and the vibrant young people and children of Guinea-Bissau continued to work with us in implementing activities. Notably, to mark the 50th anniversary of the independence of Guinea-Bissau, UNICEF supported a forum that brought together 110 young people to discuss ‘the Guinea-Bissau that we want’. We still have a long way to go to reach the ‘Guinea-Bissau we want’, but during 2023 we made some progress towards our ultimate goal that all the country’s children have their rights met and no child is left behind.