UNICEF strengthens its cooperation with Venezuela to address the challenges facing the most vulnerable children
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela and UNICEF’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean signed an agreement to expand their cooperation in the areas of health and nutrition, education, protection and water, sanitation and hygiene.
CARACAS, 5 October 2018 - The Venezuelan Government and UNICEF have signed an action plan to expand the existing Country Programme in various sectors to response to the challenges facing children and adolescents.
The aim of this commitment is to extend UNICEF’s contribution to programmes targeting the reduction of maternal and infant mortality and programmes focused on improving the conditions for the protection and development of children and adolescents. Accordingly, the agreed plan sets a financial ceiling of 32,000,000 dollars, which UNICEF will invest in programmes with partners in the Government, other public branches, civil society and academia.
The agreement was signed just over a week after the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held a meeting where, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza, “it was agreed that the UN cooperation should be boosted, and we decided to start with the most beautiful part, children and adolescents. It’s an investment in hope, which is exactly what this agreement represents.’
Venezuela is experiencing an economic crisis that is felt hardest by the most vulnerable groups. Families are facing challenges in accessing sufficient and appropriate goods and services in order to protect and ensure full development of children and adolescents.
In this situation, UNICEF has increasingly expanded its support since 2016. The agreement that has been signed today in Caracas marks a sixfold increase in the funding allocated to UNICEF until the end of 2019 to implement technical cooperation strategies, training plans, supply delivery and activities that promote children’s rights.
UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, María Cristina Perceval, pointed out that UNICEF’s efforts are focused on building on the work that the agency has already been doing, which has been unwavering and consistent as children and adolescents throughout the country confront the challenges of the economic crisis. “Each of the priorities in the plan that we launch today responds to UNICEF’s mandate, that every child today has a dignified and hopeful future, wherever they are and always’, said Perceval.
The signing ceremony was also attended by the Vice President for Social Affairs and Minister of Education, Aristóbulo Istúriz; Minister of Food Security, Luis Medina Ramírez; Minister of Health, Carlos Alvarado; Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Félix Plasencia; the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Venezuela, Peter Grohmann; UNICEF Representative in Venezuela, Rafael Ramírez Mesec; and UNICEF Venezuela Health and Nutrition Specialist, Dagoberto Rivera.
Prior to the signing of the agreement, María Cristina Perceval met with the Minister of Health during UNICEF’s delivery of 30 metric tons of health supplies to support national disease control programmes.
These supplies will contribute to maternal and infant health programmes aiming to improve the assistance to approximately 25,000 at-risk pregnant women, 10,000 newborns in neonatal care centers, 20,000 pregnant women in breastfeeding consultations, 2,324 children with HIV, 40,000 pregnant women that will have access to HIV and syphilis testing, and 100,000 children, adolescents and pregnant women that will receive antimalarial treatment.
The visit of the UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean ended with a meeting with the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in order to exchange information about UNICEF’s cooperation and the commitment of the Government to facilitate the agreed scale up of the existing Country Plan.
The United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories together with partners in Governments, in the private sector and in civil society, to protect and fulfill the rights of every child and adolescent all around the world.
UNICEF has worked in Venezuela since 1991 through a Country Programme that is agreed and signed with the National Government, transforming pledges into actions that contribute to the protection and promotion of children’s and adolescents’ rights. Follow us on our website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.