PANAMA CITY/STOCKHOLM, 21 October 2019. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) announced a total annual contribution of SEK15.2 million (US$1.56 million) to help UNICEF provide lifesaving aid to over 165,000 migrant children and their families who left Venezuela as well as host communities across Latin America and the Caribbean.
In seven countries hosting migrant and refugee families from Venezuela, namely Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Brazil, Panamá, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, UNICEF is receiving existing and additional funding from Sida to protect children’s rights through cash-based interventions, strengthen access to child protection, education, water and sanitation as well as distribute humanitarian aid at the border migration points at the border.
In Colombia, UNICEF’s response in 2019 has led to more than 114,000 children benefiting from programmes to prevent violence, abuse and exploitation, including gender-based violence. Meanwhile, in the northern border of Peru UNICEF has supported more than 34,000 migrant children by operating child friendly spaces, informing on violence prevention and distributing protection kits. In Brazil, funding from Sida has been instrumental to develop a cash-based intervention benefiting over 6,000 people in shelters, providing them with cash resources to access essential hygiene items in local businesses, as well as in Ecuador, where UNICEF’s transit and settlement cash-based interventions have benefitted more than 1,100 vulnerable children, adolescents and their families.
“This additional financial support from Sweden is very timely and makes a significant difference in the life of thousands of children affected by the migration from Venezuela through access to protection, education and safe drinking water. We welcome the generosity of the Swedish government and wish to see other donors show the same solidarity,” said Bernt Aasen, UNICEF Regional Director (a.i.) for Latin America and the Caribbean. “The unprecedented migration flow from Venezuela puts extra challenging burden on the hosting countries across the region.”
Across Latin America and the Caribbean across the region, at least 1.1 million children are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019 as the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has already surpassed 4.5 million.
This year, the United Nations Children’s Fund needs nearly 70 US$ million to provide 371,000 children affected by the Venezuela migration crisis across the region with protection, education, nutrition and access to safe drinking water. So far, approximately 40 per cent of the funding required has been received.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac.
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through its work and in cooperation with others, Sida contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development.
For more information about Sida and its work, visit www.sida.se/