News from the Field
December 19, 2012
With Its Early Childhood Development Program, UNICEF Builds a Strong Foundation for Refugee Children in Rwanda
14,323 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo live in the Kigeme refugee camp in southwestern Rwanda. UNICEF and partners have inaugurated new Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers for children aged four to six. There, the children can learn and play, and receive healthy food. For children three and younger, locally trained volunteers run home-based ECD programs. UNICEF is also distributing ECD kits that contain 40 different items designed to promote social interaction among the young children, as well as with their caregivers.
December 17, 2012
As the sun rises in northeastern Somalia, teams of vaccinators, monitors and others converge at different health facilities, where they get their morning briefing and fill their vaccine carriers with vials and icepacks. They then disperse to ensure all eligible children and mothers receive a package of healthcare that includes immunization. This effort is the second phase of Somalia’s 2012 Child Health Days, and 275,000 children under five and 394,000 women of childbearing age are expected to receive critical health and nutrition interventions.
December 14, 2012
This past summer, in Vinnytsya, Ukraine, a school was adapted to the needs of children with disabilities. A wheelchair ramp was built, and a street-level classroom and bathroom were modified. Some students were able to go to a school for the first time in their lives. These and other improvements were possible thanks to the Child Friendly Cities Initiative. Under the initiative, UNICEF and partners contribute to changes that make children’s lives in cities more comfortable and safe, including the lives of children with special needs.
December 13, 2012
A week after Typhoon Bopha hit the southern Philippines, six UNICEF staff were deployed to the four most affected regions as part of the government and United Nations assessment. About 2.3 million children are affected. One staff member gives a firsthand account on what the situation is like in the hardest-hit areas. In Davao Oriental Province, where more than 90,000 persons have been affected, he says, "... the province was practically flattened to the ground... People here urgently need water, food, shelter, clothing, medicine and toilets."
December 10, 2012
As Leaders of the GAVI Alliance Meet, the United Republic of Tanzania Introduces New Vaccines for Pneumonia and Diarrhea
In early December, the United Republic of Tanzania introduced two new vaccines to help prevent pneumonia and diarrhea. These two diseases are the main causes of death of children under five, so the vaccines represent another huge step forward for the children of Tanzania. At the same time, the GAVI Alliance, which includes UNICEF among other organizations and foundations, was meeting to discuss boosting immunization in developing countries—including introducing new vaccines and strengthening systems to immunize the hardest-to-reach children.