UNICEF Pacific Representative, Mr. Sheldon Yett, presented his credentials to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas
To date 73 per cent of children under five have been registered, while 86 per cent of children under 18 years have their birth recorded in the national birth registration system
3,318 people including 1,427 women and 497 children benefitted from a project targeting 15 peri-urban communities in Port Vila through a UNICEF contract with World Vision to support Department of Water WASH recovery plans
34 schools on Tanna that are awaiting rebuilding of TC Pam damaged classrooms received replacement UNICEF tented learning spaces to ensure uninterrupted schooling, a collaboration between UNICEF, Ministry of Education & Training and World Vision
50 participants were trained in the Community Facilitation Package (“Children are our Future”) as part of pilot-testing of the Child Protection materials due for release in early 2017
155 youth volunteers trained in child protection by UNICEF and its partners, Ministry of Justice & Community Services, Ministry of Youth, Sports Development & Training, and the Vanuatu National Youth Council participated in the National Games held in December during which they disseminated messages on respect and child protection
UNICEF Vanuatu Field Office together with key partners and 300 children joined countries around the world to celebrate UNICEF’s 70th anniversary with a sports festival
The UN Resident Coordinator and the Vanuatu Prime Minister together with the UN Coordination Officer for the Joint Presence Office visited the Shepherds Islands of Tongoa, Tongariki, Mataso, Buninga and Makira
Ongoing support by UNICEF to both the Vanuatu National Recovery TC Pam plan and longer term development activities within line Ministries is to be fully embedded in the 2017 Business Plans of respective Ministries. This aims to reinforce Government systems by reflecting support ‘on plan and on budget’. Benefits include greater ownership, mutual accountability, transparency and commitments in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Nutrition, Education and Child Protection.
The Prime Minister’s Office unveiled the draft Vanuatu National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP), “Vanuatu 2030: The Peoples Plan” on 16 November. UN Agencies, including UNICEF, were a part of the consultative validation process. Requests have been made to the PM’s Office for logical frameworks to facilitate more substantive reviews and input into the broad framework and to better understand the monitoring plans and structure.
Within the emerging UN Pacific Strategy, UNICEF Pacific has embarked on a five-year (2018-2022) Multi-Country Programme Document (MCPD) for approval by the UNICEF Executive Board in September 2017. This is informed by a Situation Analysis of Children and aligns with national sustainable development plans. It will guide programming priorities and commitments across the 14 Pacific Island Countries over the next five-year period. An accompanying Country Programme Management Plan detailing operational requirements including technical and financial capacity is under development to ensure achievement of aspirations outlined in the MCPD.
Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative to the 14 Pacific Island Countries including Vanuatu, presented his credentials to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas on 5 December. Mr. Yett thanked the government of Vanuatu for their continuous support and discussed the new five year country programme which begins in 2018. In response, the Prime Minister thanked Mr. Yett for UNICEF’s commitment to better the lives of children in Vanuatu and sent assurances to work with development partners including the UN to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN Resident Coordinator and the Vanuatu Prime Minister together with the UN Coordination Officer for the Joint Presence Office visited the Shepherds Islands of Tongoa, Tongariki, Mataso, Buninga and Makira on 3 December. The visit provided an opportunity to open multi-purpose community halls and fishing centres with the handover of accompanying fishing and sewing gear. The project supports building of Ni-Vanuatu resilience by helping communities diversify their livelihoods following cyclone Pam (2015) and the effects of El Nino. Partnerships with local NGOs and commercial banks provided opportunities for skill building of local communities.
Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) and Olympic Solidarity partnered with UNICEF to host a day of fun activities, for about 300 children on 18 November to commemorate UNICEF’s 70th anniversary and Universal Children’s Day. The sports festival aimed to increase children’s knowledge of their own rights and the shared UNICEF / Olympic values of respect, fair play, and caring for the environment. The activities also raised awareness around healthy living and aimed to increase the interest of children in the national sports federation development programme. With a theme of ‘playing to learn and learning to play’, different sports federations under VASANOC ran activity stations offering: archery, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, rugby, netball, and athletics for the children. Key partners including Ministry of Education & Training, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth, Sports Development and Training, Civil Registry and Vital Statistics, the Just Play Programme, UNICEF Pacific Ambassadors – Vanuatu Beach Volleyball Team, and non-government organisations including Oxfam set up awareness booths to inform children on key issues.