UNICEF’s existing cooperation for the welfare of children in Cuba

UNICEF’s existing cooperation for the welfare of children in Cuba
Fecha de publicación: 
30 November 2022
Imagen principal: 

Havana, Nov 30 (RHC) The office of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in Cuba, and more than a closed anniversary, it is an open road for the international organization to continue contributing to the well-being of children in the Antillean nation.

On this occasion, Prensa Latina visited UNICEF headquarters in Havana, where its representative, Alejandra Trossero, highlighted the existing cooperation links between both parties.

She highlighted Cuba's efforts to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, an endeavor in which the international organization participates in a sustained manner.

She praised the number of vaccines Cuba has. UNICEF buys the vaccine against rubella, measles, and mumps, which are not produced here, but at the same time, it acquires the Cuban immunogen against pneumococcus, which is distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN agency also works on access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in favor of children's health, including in rural areas, said Trossero, who recalled that long before opening an office in Havana, cooperation already existed.

Collaboration in the field of education is constant, and every five years an agreement is signed with the government of the island. In this sense, she expressed UNICEF's interest in contributing to the inclusion of children with disabilities in regular education.

Cuba created special schools, but changed the concept so that parents have the right to choose in which center their child will study, and we will help in the training of those teachers, she said.

UNICEF is also working in the largest of the Antilles for respectful upbringing in early childhood through a non-violent education, said Trossero.

Given the high demand for day-care centers, "we are expanding the day-care centers in coordination with the Ministry of Education so that mothers can go to work and their children can be well cared for. The experience is valid in rural areas ".

UNICEF is also working with the government in the revision of norms and new legislation in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

She pointed out that Cuba is one of the few countries in the region that grants maternity and paternity leave for the care of children, a concept linked to gender equality and equity.

Trossero acknowledged that the Cuban nation maintains a high level of response to emergencies, and ratified the continuity of collaboration in this and other pillars.

In his opinion, the organization he represents is at its best: "We have great experience and we will continue to support Cuba when events occur, as we did with the powerful and destructive Hurricane Ian, the explosion at the Saratoga Hotel, and the great fire at the supertanker base in the city of Matanzas.

"For us it is strategic to be one step ahead, not to wait for a disaster to happen to start acting, we need to be ready beforehand.

We worked together with the Cuban Civil Defense, and after the passage of Hurricane Ian we provided waterproofed roofs for schools in the western province of Pinar del Río so that students could resume classes as soon as possible, she said.

As part of our work, we provided educational kits to reduce the impact of the losses of school material due to the heavy rains, but at the same time we delivered others for early childhood as part of the psychosocial support, the UNICEF representative pointed out.

A fundamental element for us is the re-establishment of water, hence we bought more than 40 drainage pumps and contributed with water purification plants for the precious liquid, said Trossero.

She commented that during the most complex stage of Covid-19 the collaboration did not stop, "and we contributed with an oxygen plant, materials for the protection of health personnel which included masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. In addition, we obtained financing to ensure the cold chain of the vaccines". (Source: PL)

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