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How UNICEF is supporting children in Belize during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2020. 1:03 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Belize and the rest of the world, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) continues to offer its support to Belize through humanitarian aid. In an article published this week, UNICEF outlined a number of major issues affecting Belize’s children during the pandemic and the actions that the organizations have taken to help.

UNICEF notes that keeping children healthy and well-nourished can be a challenge, adding that about 25 percent of surveyed households indicated skipping of meals or reduced food intake and that 15 percent of children under 5 years old suffer from growth stunting. UNICEF has responded by supporting the Ministry of Education’s School Feeding Programme through delivering 1,500 nutrition hampers, including hygiene kits, to families in need affected by school closures.

Addressing the issue of proper handwashing as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19, UNICEF said that it continues to raise awareness by disseminating pertinent information on handwashing through all news media outlets in the country. The organization also said that plans are in place to reach 50,000 students with critical hygiene packages – which will help promote handwashing with soap and keep classrooms clean when schools reopen.

UNICEF also pointed out that the closure of schools due to the pandemic has severely limited learning opportunities for more than100,000 Belizeans students at all levels and caused a “dramatic drop” in the time dedicated to learning.

UNICEF partnered with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports andCulture to produce and air the TV and radio program “In It Together.”  Led by children for children, the show has kept children learning through COVID-19, while offering help to relieve stressduring these challenging times, the organization said.

The full list of problems and actions published by UNICEF can be found here.

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