UNICEF Appeals For $162Mln To Help Protect Children In Venezuela - Statement

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th April, 2020) The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is urging the international community to help fund its appeal for more than $160 million including over $8 million for the coronavirus outbreak response for children in Venezuela, the Fund said on Wednesday.

"UNICEF is calling for the support of the international community to fund its US$161.9 million appeal - including US$ 8.9 million for COVID-19 response - to help reach and protect the most vulnerable children and women in Venezuela," the agency said in a statement.

The call comes following the UNICEF-managed arrival of 90 tons of vital supplies in Caracas earlier in the day.

"The shipment includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for health workers on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19," UNICEF noted. "The shipment also includes hospital kits with essential medicines, hygiene and sanitation equipment, as well as education and recreation kits to support the most vulnerable children and the wider at-risk population."

The delivery consists of 110 basic emergency kits to reach 110,000 people as well as oxygen concentrators, pediatric beds, and almost 1,000 PPE kits to identify 28,000 COVID suspected patients, according to the release.

"The COVID-19 pandemic compounds an already precarious humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which has also recently seen the return of Venezuelans who migrated to other countries," the release stated. "UNICEF's support in health, water, sanitation, and hygiene in 14 out of 46 prioritized sentinel hospitals is taking place within the framework of the United Nations response plan in Venezuela for the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF supports other facilities, such as other outpatient centers and selected schools, through school feeding activities for 27,000 children daily."

The supplies delivered to Venezuela on Wednesday were financed by the international donor community, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and other UN agencies.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that he expects another batch of humanitarian aid from the World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Russia to arrive in the country later on Wednesday.

Russia sent its first batch of humanitarian aid, which included medical equipment, to Venezuela in late March. So far, Venezuela has confirmed 166 cases of the coronavirus, including seven fatalities and 65 recoveries.