UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean: UNICEF programming reaches vulnerable children and families in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Eastern Caribbean Area (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands), Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Significant needs related to migration, violence, poverty

The Latin America and Caribbean region includes Mexico and countries in Central America where there are significant humanitarian needs related to migration, violence, internal displacement, food insecurity and poverty. In parts of Central America, forced recruitment, gang violence and crime are daily realities for children. These issues are often compounded by poverty and limited access to quality education. 

The rights of migrant women and children to basic services — shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food, protection, education and health care — are frequently violated in countries of origin, transit, destination and return. The policies adopted by some governments have also impacted children’s access to safety and international protection.

Saving and protecting vulnerable children wherever they are — regardless of immigration status

UNICEF provides services and support to vulnerable children and families in border areas, along migration routes and at transit points, in communities of origin and communities of return and at their final destinations. 

Hurricanes and other extreme weather events are another problem across Latin America and the Caribbean. UNICEF responds to these emergencies by putting supplies and teams in place so they are ready to go in support of the government’s response. UNICEF also works with local authorities to build back better, making communities more resilient to future shocks.

Manuel Moreno, a UNICEF Communication Specialist, delivers hygiene kits to a family at the school where they have taken shelter since their village in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, flooded in the wake of two devastating hurricanes. Supporting personal hygiene — a pillar of UNICEF’s WASH program — is key to preventing the spread of disease. ©UNICEF/UN0376644/Volpe

Learn more about UNICEF's work for children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Learn more about UNICEF's global humanitarian action plan for 2022 — and why the $9.4 billion emergency funding appeal to assist 177 million children affected by conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19 is its largest ever.

Top photo: A girl from the El Muelle neighborhood of Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, one of many areas that was affected by back to back hurricanes that slammed the region in November 2020. Natural disasters have become more frequent and more intense, further endangering the health, safety and well being of vulnerable children. ©UNICEF/UN0360932/Gómez/AFP-Services