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아이티를 방문한 Ann M. Veneman 유니세프 총재

2008.01.18

* Executive Director Ann M. Veneman wraps up first official trip to Haiti.
* 02 min 35 secs
* 07 Jan 2008

UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman has just finished a three-day tour of Haiti, the country with the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in the Western Hemisphere. 

Upon arrival, she spoke briefly with reporters at the airport, before meeting with top government officials.

SOUNDBITE (English), Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director: "We will really be looking at the ways in which UNICEF is working in the country, and also how we can work together with our government partners and our NGO partners to better improve the lives of children."

Ms. Veneman toured more than a half-dozen programs that receive UNICEF support. Her first stop was a child protection shelter open to street children, who are especially vulnerable to violence and abuse.

More than 300 boys and 75 girls receive basic services such as food, health and education. 16-year-old Yonel Jean, whose parents both died, is also receiving training as an electrictian.

The skill will help him survive on his own as an adult and keep him off the streets.

Next stop was CHOSCAL hospital, where more than 3,000 children are treated each month for malnutrition.

A short drive away is a program managed by AVSI, a UNICEF partner that gives psycho-social support to children affected by armed violence, an all-too-common reality for children living in Cite Soleil, one of Haiti's most dangerous areas.

The plight of children living with HIV was addressed at Rainbow House, a residence for 36 children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is also a frequent challenge at Zanmi Lasanté, a full-service hospital with two operating rooms. Dr. David Walton has seen a tremendous improvement over the ten years he's been working here.

SOUNDBITE (English), Dr. David Walton, Zanmi Lasanté: "Without these programs, it's almost a death sentence. They grow up, they're malnourished. Oftentimes, they die before they reach the age of five years old. So you're allowing these children to grow up, to have a chance for education, and they come back after they're educated and serve their communities. So it's incredible – you're making a difference on the local level and the national level."

With about 60 percent of Haiti's population lacking basic health-care services, every bit of support given to such programs goes a long way in helping the lives of the country's children. This is Thomas Nybo reporting for UNICEF Television in Port au Prince, Haiti. Unite for children.


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