Posted: Friday, June 4, 2021. 3:22 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma: Today, the Government of the United States, through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), delivered COVID prevention equipment to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.
The donation included 157 sanitization stands and 98 gallons of liquid hand sanitizers.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Education Culture, Science and Technology, Francis Fonseca, U.S. Embassy Belmopan Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Keith Gilges, and UNICEF Representative in Belize Alison Parker.
Since 2020, the United States Government, through funding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and coordinated by U.S. Embassy Belmopan, has provided $300,000 in grants to UNICEF to confront the spread of the virus through improved hygiene in public schools.
Funding for the sanitization stands and supplies was provided through the Preventing and Responding to COVID-2019 in Belize USAID-UNICEF Umbrella Agreement to support schools and students in the phased return in person learning.
The distribution and use of the sanitization stands will ensure children in schools have an additional form of protection from COVID-19 and other diseases.
Over 5,000 children in 45 primary schools will benefit from this contribution valued at $20,000 BZD.
In his keynote address, Chargé Gilges emphasized, “We want children to return to in-person learning at schools that have adapted procedures to protect children from infectious diseases. We want to create cleaner and safer environments for Belizean children than existed before the pandemic. We want to build back better.”
Parker in her remarks stated “If as a society, we are committed to recovering from the impact of COVID-19 on our economy and livelihoods then the answer is in investing in learning and ensuring schools and institutions can resume so children can get back to learning. The health and well-being of children are the most important investments a country can make, and this is also an important priority for UNICEF in Belize.”
“The U.S. government’s role in today’s donation is part of a broader U.S. commitment to help lead the global effort to confront the COVID-19 pandemic around the world,” a statement from the U.S. Embassy said.
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