Guyana signs third annual work plan with UNICEF

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues –Birkett, left, and Ms. Marianne Flach of United Nations Children’s Fund

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and Ms. Marianne Flach, of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), yesterday, signed the Third Annual Work Plan agreed between the Government the agency.The Minister acknowledged that UNICEF is a very important organisation for Guyana, specifically as it focuses on improving the lives of children in areas of health, education and their personal welfare.
She said, as Guyana strives to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), its focus is on evidence based programmes of actions surrounding such as poverty, hunger and HIV/AIDS with a special emphasis on equity.
The Minister said, in this year’s plan, emphasis would be placed on the hinterland regions of Guyana, since statics have shown that these are among the most vulnerable areas.
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.
Specific interventions
The plan outlines priority areas for specific interventions and supports projects to be executed by some of the ministries and other agencies.
Guyana was elected to the Executive Board of UNICEF for a period of three years from 2013 to 2015, at elections held in April 2012. It is among the five members from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries on the Executive Board.
Flach related that they have seen very good results, namely in the reduction of child brutality, HIV/AIDS as well as education, especially with the primary school-age children.
She indicated, further, that their attention will be shifted slightly, since they have acquired such good results in their previous plan and they will now cater for secondary school age children and media.
In one of the plans set out for 2014, UNICEF has started the preparation for the mix survey, which will provide data that would indicate where the country is in respect to achieving the MDGs.
Flach emphasised that the media play a very important role in highlighting children being abused but lamented that, sometimes, it can be reported better and, because of this, they are presently working on developing a code of conduct which has been included in this year’s approach.