News from the Field
February 15, 2013
I have just returned from Homs, where I was part of a mission to assess the humanitarian situation. Almost one in three persons in Homs is a displaced person, and 2/3 of the displaced population are children. The common message I got from parents and all education practitioners I met was the need to make sure that children can complete their school year. I saw and heard about much suffering and desperation, but I also encountered amazing stories of people who are doing everything they can to create pockets of hope in a world of chaos.
February 13, 2013
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic has one of the highest consumptions of rice per capita in the world. In rural areas, rice provides 80% of calorie intake. But while a rich source of energy, rice doesn’t contain all the nutrients for adequate nutrition. An over-reliance on rice has left children here among the most undernourished in the region, with 31% of children under five in the country underweight, and 48% stunted. UNICEF and the EU have joined forces with the Government for screening and treatment of children against malnutrition.
February 12, 2013
As conflict rages in northern Mali, thousands of people caught up in the fighting are struggling to survive and reach more secure areas.
February 11, 2013
Madhya Pradesh, the second-largest state in India, has the highest infant mortality rate in the country. A dearth of health centers and difficult access to remote regions have pulled the state into a healthcare crisis. The state government and UNICEF are turning things around by setting up healthcare facilities linking rural communities to district hospitals, and establishing health centers where there are none. The Shivpuri District Hospital has also had a makeover. Its Special Newborn Care Unit alone has saved more than 6,000 children.
February 7, 2013
On January 16-18, African health ministers met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a follow-up meeting to the Child Survival Call to Action that was held in Washington D.C. in June 2012. The African leadership meeting convened ministers and experts on child survival from 20 African countries to ensure child survival is at the forefront of social development. At the end of the conference the participating countries declared their commitment to developing and implementing roadmaps to end preventable deaths among children under five by 2035.