News from the Field
October 2, 2012
After a coup in north Mali, 400,000 people have fled their homes. When these families return home, the children will be at risk from landmines and unexploded ordnances that were used in the conflict. Children don’t know that mines are dangerous, and UNICEF is holding mine risk education workshops to train partners on how to conduct awareness sessions for children. The goal is for returning displaced children, as well as those living in conflict areas of the north, to know how to stay safe and how to protect themselves and their family members.
October 1, 2012
While Cambodia has made impressive gains in reducing child and infant mortality, neonatal as well as maternal mortality has remained high. UNICEF has been supporting the Ministry of Health to improve the availability and quality of skilled care for mothers and their newborns. Trained village health volunteers visit the homes of pregnant women and counsel the mothers on care to be taken during pregnancy, and they promote delivery in a health facility with trained healthcare workers. They also provide care after delivery during follow-up visits.
September 28, 2012
The international conference on Violence Against Children in Juvenile Justice Systems in Kyrgyzstan is part of a project supported by the European Union and UNICEF to research ill treatment of children in conflict with the law. Children’s voices are a strong part of the initiative, and a series of video workshops were held to capture these voices. UNICEF and partners brought together children who had been behind bars to produce 60-second videos. These videos demonstrate their personal views on the juvenile justice systems in their countries.
September 27, 2012
UNICEF estimates that 100,000 children under five are suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Burkina Faso, while close to 1.7 million people are at risk of going hungry. A UNICEF and EU joint project aims to improve nutrition security among women and young children, and the program’s approach begins with education. Local NGOs hold nutrition classes to teach mothers how to fortify their families’ meals with vitamin-rich ingredients, and farmers are encouraged to plant fruit and vegetables instead of relying on less nutritious staple grains.
September 26, 2012
A UNICEF-supported clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, provides pregnant women with fortified foods, especially iodized salt. The ingestion of iodine prevents iodine deficiency disorders (IDDs), the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. In fact, insufficient iodine during the prenatal period and the first few years of life can result in irreversible brain damage. UNICEF is working to reduce IDD in Haiti by distributing fortified foods and advocating for an increased commitment by the government and partners to iodize salt.