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Three vehicles to boost Government outreach of safe water and birth registration services to children

© UNICEF Pacific/2018/Simeon
Andrew Parker, Chief of UNICEF Vanuatu Field Office, handed over the keys to one of the three vehicles to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Andrew Napuat, at the official handover ceremony to support increased birth registration for younger children

Port Vila, 2 February 2018: Today, UNICEF completes official handover of three vehicles in Luganville, Santo to Vanuatu Government Ministries of Internal Affairs and Lands & Natural Resources to support the provision of safe and adequate water for children and their families and increase birth registration.

 

“Access to safe drinking water is crucial for life, especially for children. Conditions linked to drinking unsafe water, including diarrhoea and stunting, are critical issues affecting children thus providing safe water to communities will improve the lives of children,” said Andrew Parker, Chief of UNICEF Vanuatu Field Office. He added, “UNICEF sees birth registration services as key to children’s right to a name and nationality as well as giving children access to key government services.”

 

Since 2007 birth registration of children under 18 years of age in Vanuatu has increased from a low of 23 per cent to a current high of 86 per cent. However, a much more concerted effort is needed to ensure that younger children are registered with only about 7 out of 10 children under 5 being registered and about 6 out of 10 under one year of age.

 

Hon. Andrew Napuat, Minister of Internal Affairs, stated, “The Government of Vanuatu acknowledges the partnership with UNICEF to ensure children are reached with essential registration services. The two vehicles will support work at the national level and be used to reach children in rural remote communities on the island of Santo.”

 

To increase birth registration in Vanuatu, UNICEF supports the ongoing improvement of the registration database; decentralisation of data collection to provinces; mobile outreach birth registration campaigns; finalization of the national Civil Registry and Vital Statistics (CRVS) policy, review and amendment of the Civil Status Act; and provision of supplies. These supplies include two vehicles handed over at today’s ceremony: one for the national CRVS Office and the second for Sanma province.

 

In addition to increasing birth registration, one of the three vehicles will support the delivery of safe and adequate water to children living on Santo Island. Santo is the largest island requiring long distance truck ride to communities over rough roads and crossing rivers. The vehicle provided will be valuable for ongoing monitoring of the large water systems.

 

“Urban and rural water systems on the largest island in Vanuatu, Santo, have their unique challenges,” said the Minister of Lands & Natural Resources, Hon. Alfred Moah. “With the Department now inheriting the systems, absorbing new staff and the challenges that come with it, the vehicle will be key to ensuring authorities are delivering safe water to people and leading to better health outcomes for everyone in the longer term,” he added.

 

While the vehicles provided by UNICEF will increase Government’s capacity for outreach in terms of water and birth registration services to children, the two vehicles provided to Sanma province will add to its ability to respond to natural hazards and emergencies in the northern provinces of Vanuatu.

 

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About the Vanuatu Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources oversees the functions of the Department of Lands, the Department of Water Resources, the Department of Geology and Mines, and the Office of The Valuer General. The main areas we will focus on are: ensuring there are fair dealing in lands; and ensuring that the rights of Custom Owners to their lands, and its developments, are fully recognized and protected. For more information visit: https://mol.gov.vu/index.php/en/

 

About the Vanuatu Ministry of Internal Affairs

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is responsible for implementing major and essential policies relating to the internal administration of the entire nation. The Ministry is quite vital in providing essential services to the population commencing from Torba to Tafea Province. There are seven departments under the Ministry that ensure the policies in terms of Decentralization, Border Control Management and National Services are implemented with the main goal of “Bringing the Government Closer to The People”.

 

About UNICEF

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.unicefpacific.org.  Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

 

For more information, please contact:

Annie Samuels, Department of Water, +678 5333820, asamuels@vanuatu.gov.vu

Ettienne Ravo, Civil Status Department, +678 25303, +678 7749762, eravo@vanuatu.gov.vu

Rebecca Olul, UNICEF Vanuatu Field Office, +678 24655, +678 77 666 04, rolul@unicef.org

 

 
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