• As part of the ‘Global Handwashing Day’ celebration on 15 October, UNICEF distributed over 30,000 soap bars; installed handwashing points in four protection centres, five schools, four communities and 26 prioritized health care facilities (HCFs); and distributed 13,008 hygiene kits.
• During ‘Global Handwashing Day’, five million people were reached via radio broadcasting with handwashing messages. With support from the private sector, key messages were disseminated via SMS, reaching over 2.6 million people.
• In coordination with the Ministry of Health and other local implementing partners, UNICEF is supporting the National Deworming Campaign. Twelve states have already initiated largescale deworming, reaching 11,625 children 2 to 14 years old and 939 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) with antiparasitic treatment.
• As part of its activities to commemorate the ‘International Day of the Girl Child,’ UNICEF launched a nationwide campaign entitled “It’s not a joke, it’s violence” (No es broma, es violencia in Spanish). The campaign aims at raising awareness on the risks and impact of gender-based violence (GBV) on the life of women, children and adolescents.
• In October 453 teachers (383 women and 70 men) received cash transfers as incentives in six prioritized states to support retention and reduce the risk of educational service delivery disruption.
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 31 October 2020, UNICEF has US$ 75 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$ 37 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 51 per cent gap of the Venezuela HAC and the 51 per cent gap of the COVID-19 appeal, for a total gap of more than US$ 93 million. Potential prolonged funding gaps hinder UNICEF’s capacity to respond to pre-existing 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 whom urgent support is needed.