The new academic year for preschools and elementary schools nationwide officially began on 16 September 2020 under a remote modality.
Through the supply of essential medicines and equipment, UNICEF supported healthcare services for over 29,800 children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW), including 760 patients from indigenous communities in 69 municipalities.
UNICEF provided support to 62 health care facilities through the distribution of key cleaning and hygiene products and personal protective equipment (PPE), installation of handwashing points, and provision of technical assistance and capacity building on infection prevention and control (IPC).
To support teachers and ensure the continuity of education for all children, UNICEF provided incentives to 1,386 teachers in the form of cash incentives, food boxes and smartphones.
14,252 children (6,869 girls and 7,383 boys) were provided with educational materials and supplies to carry out educational activities at home.
To train military authorities and government staff working in PASIs, UNICEF distributed 5,000 copies of the Protection Guidelines for Communication with Children in Táchira and Apure states.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF continues its efforts to meet the health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); education; child protection; and nutrition needs of vulnerable Venezuelan girls, boys and adolescents, which have been further exacerbated by COVID-19. The UNICEF 2020 Venezuela Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeals for US$ 153.2 million to address the needs of 2.6 million people, including 1.7 million children and adolescents. As of 30 September 2020, UNICEF has US$ 69.9 million available to support implementation of much needed child protection, including gender-based violence (GBV); education; health; nutrition; and WASH interventions, as well as to cover operational and logistics costs related to the delivery of this assistance. Of this amount, US$ 38 million has been carried over from 2019, and US$ 32.3 million has been raised in 2020.
Additionally, to address the imminent health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF launched an appeal for an additional US$ 26.8 million under the UNICEF Global COVID-19 HAC. To date, UNICEF Venezuela has raised US$ 13 million for the COVID-19 response, primarily to: (i) provide health workers and other staff engaged in the response with personal protective equipment (PPE); (ii) provide hospitals and clinics with medical supplies and equipment, WASH supplies (including soap, hand-sanitizer, chlorine, masks, drinking water dispensers and disinfectant), safe water, and capacity strengthening on hygiene practices; (iii) strengthen Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) programming, by promoting effective COVID-19 prevention measures, such as hand washing, hygiene practices, physical distancing and other behavioural changes to curb the transmission of the virus; (iv) provide remote psychosocial support and ensure continuity of child protection and GBV services; (v) combat stigmatization; and (vi) contribute to mitigating the collateral impact of the outbreak on children.
UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received to date. Nevertheless, UNICEF calls upon the international community to provide additional and flexible support to reduce the remaining 54 per cent gap of the Venezuela HAC and the 51 per cent gap of the COVID-19 appeal, for a total of approximately US$ 97 million required. Potential prolonged funding gaps hinder UNICEF’s capacity to respond to preexisting and urgent needs emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure continuity of critical services including WASH and education for children, women and vulnerable populations, for which urgent support is needed.