UNICEF Venezuela Situation Report June 2019

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 30 Jun 2019

Highlights

• In Táchira state, 9,050 children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women were screened for malnutrition. 7,469 received micronutrients supplementation to prevent micronutrient deficiencies.

• The Immunization Campaign of the Americas was carried out from 13 May to 30 June. With UNICEF’s support, children and adolescents were vaccinated against yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus and measles. UNICEF has also contributed with vaccines and logistics support, to the nationwide polio vaccination campaign, which will begin in July.

• UNICEF and implementing partners, reached over 12,000 people with the distribution of purifying tablets, and promotion of hygiene practices in the states of Zulia, Bolivar, Miranda and Táchira.

• 40,000 people have benefited with the distribution of inter-agency emergency health kits (IEHKs), containing critical medical supplies, in Táchira, Zulia,
Bolivar and Gran Caracas.

• Training activities on the use of educational kits (ECD and recreational kits, and school in a box) were implemented in 24 schools in the states of Anzoátegui and Táchira, benefitting 6,959 children and adolescents and 183 teachers.

• School feeding pilot programme has been initiated in ten schools of Miranda state, benefitting 3,257 students and 277 teachers. The objective is to reach 8,000 students by September 2019.

• In partnership with the Ministry of Health, 40,814 birth certificates were provided to ensure children are officially registered allowing them to access basic services.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Following the border opening with Brazil in May 2019, Venezuelan authorities re-opened all official crossing points with Colombia on 8 June 2019, culminating in an increase of pendular movements, which can lead to associated risks of violence, trafficking, exploitation and abuse of children and adolescents. Colombian authorities reported on 8 June, that over 70,000 people crossed the official borders, 34,000 of them into Colombia and 40,000 into Venezuela.1 Irregularity in power and water provision is still persistent in several states, and fuel shortages has led to limited access to basic services and negatively impacted daily activities of thousands of Venezuelans, with reports of long queues to refuel in different cities as well as overcharges in the price of gasoline.

Furthermore, the beginning of the rainy season has been marked by heavy rains with floods, landslides and closure of roads across Táchira state. According to Civil Protection authorities, no families have been directly affected.

UNICEF has been carrying out missions to assess needs and identify opportunities for implementing comprehensive interventions. Latest missions, by the health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors, identified lack of safe water in hospitals, as well as poor maintenance of WASH facilities as main priorities to tackle. During a three-day mission to Delta Amacuro, several issues have been identified mainly relating to the degradation of water supply and sanitation systems, and worrisome hygiene and environmental conditions. Due to lack of access to safe drinking water, children met during the missions and local information sources point to a protracted situation of diarrheal infections leading to severe dehydration.

Low levels of school attendance are also a concern, along with higher than usual prevalence of malaria cases, measles and diphtheria. UNICEF is planning to conduct a joint follow-up visit with local authorities at state and municipal level to cover matters related to child protection and education.

Following an invitation of the Venezuelan government, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, visited the country from 19-21 June. Ms. Bachelet met a wide range of actors, including President Nicolas Maduro, other senior Government officials, the President of the National Assembly, civil society, business representatives, academics and other stakeholders, as well as victims of human rights violations and abuses together with their families. A team of two UN human rights officers remained in the country, with an agreed mandate to provide technical assistance and advice, and to monitor the human rights situation.