By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Government of Guyana, through its Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodigues – Birkett on Friday (February 28) signed a US$1.6M Work Plan with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under its Annual Work- Plan for 2014.
The Annual Work plan derives from the 2012 – 2016 country programme which was developed collaboratively between the Government of Guyana and UNICEF in pursuit of the rights of children and gender equality.
It outlines priority areas for specific intervention and supports programmes to be executed by the Ministries of Education, Human Services and Social Security among other agencies.
In 2013 UNICEF donated US$1.2M to the Work plan while the total amount for the country programme over the five year period is US$15.2M, inclusive of operational funding.
According to Rodigues – Birkett, the plan over the last two years has yield good results in addressing the needs of Guyana’s vulnerable children. She said she was particularly pleased with the work done in Guyana’s hinterland regions where children remain very vulnerable.
Meanwhile, UNICEF Country Rep Marianne Flach spoke of the MICS study that will commence in 2014 in Guyana which is geared towards accumulating data on children’s health, education and protection. She opined that the study will also help with the latest figures for reporting on Guyana’s MDG achievements in 2014.
Flach was also appreciative of the on-going health and family life education in Guyana’s schools which she hopes will lead to a reduction in teenage pregnancy.
She also reminded on UNICEF’s collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport in efforts to complete the National Youth Policy along with its work against child violence.
Guyana was elected to the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund for a period of three years from 2013 – 2015, at elections held in April 2012; and is among five members from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries on the Executive Board.