Venezuela crisis: UNICEF ramps up support for children and families amidst electricity blackouts
NEW YORK/PANAMA CITY, 5 April 2019 – In response to repeated power outages affecting much of Venezuela, UNICEF and its partners are reinforcing essential services – including healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation – for vulnerable children and families through the provision of emergency power sources and supplies.
As part of these efforts, UNICEF has provided generators to ensure the continued availability of power for pediatric care, delivery rooms and vaccine cold chain storage at major hospitals including: El Piñal Hospital, Táchira State; Dr. Raúl Leoni Otero Hospital, Bolívar State; Dr. Adolfo D'Empaire Hospital, Zulia State; Maternal and Child Hospital of the East Dr. Joel Valencia Parpacén and Dr. Rafael Osío de Cúa Hospital of Miranda State; and the Maternity Hospital Pastor Oropeza and University Clinical Hospital in the Capital District.
The generators were distributed in coordination with the Ministry of Popular Power for Health and Corposalud Táchira and will benefit more than 24,000 children.
UNICEF is also concerned about the impact of blackouts on the availability of safe water. In order to help families prepare for any eventual failure in the water supply, UNICEF and its partners – including the Red Cross, Cáritas, Miranda Civil Protection and Táchira Civil Protection – have already distributed water purification tablets to more than 12,000 families and oral rehydration salts to 4,200 families. Partners have also installed water tanks to ensure a safe supply of water for pediatric and maternal services at a number of hospitals, including the Maternidad Concepción Palacios, Maternal and Child Hospital of the East Dr. Joel Valencia Parpacén, Materno Infantil Pastor Oropeza Hospital and Maternal Infant Hugo Chávez.
Together with Fe y Alegría and its national network of radio stations, UNICEF has reached more than 110,000 people with information on care and protection for children and adolescents during the ongoing crisis, and how to motivate children to continue learning while they are at home.
Since 2018, UNICEF in Venezuela has provided health and nutritional supplies to more than 350,000 children and women, in agreement with the Government and with the support of civil society partners. This includes cooperation with the National Institute of Nutrition and with Cáritas to reach more than 189,000 children with treatment for malnutrition. In addition, UNICEF has supported the distribution of 2.5 million vaccines against measles and diphtheria, antimalarial treatment for 150,000 children, and anti-retroviral treatment for 2,324 children with HIV-AIDS.
UNICEF will continue to work with all sectors in Venezuela to protect the rights of children and adolescents across the country.
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