Author Archives: Romain Lecadou

Caring for children orphaned by Ebola in Sierra Leone

Yusuf Koroma, a social worker, chats with 4-year-old Musu Conteh’s grandfather, who has been caring for her ever since her parents died of Ebola.© UNICEF Sierra Leone/2015/Kassaye

Yusuf Koroma, a social worker, chats with 4-year-old Musu Conteh’s grandfather, who has been caring for her ever since her parents died of Ebola.© UNICEF Sierra Leone/2015/Kassaye

Sierra Leone, 14 July 2015 – I recently saw a grandfather, not old enough to be called elderly, break down and cry. I was accompanying Yusuf Koroma, a social worker attached to the Observation Interim Care Center (OICC) in Portee, a neighborhood in eastern Freetown. The OICC is where children who may have been exposed to Ebola are brought for observation.

Following up on children who have gone through the OICC and returned to their homes is a routine part of Yusuf’s duties. I was joining him for the day as he went out to deliver BP-100 (high energy therapeutic food) to children who have been discharged. Child malnutrition rates in Sierra Leone are among the highest in the world. Malnutrition compromises children’s immunity to infectious diseases, hence the importance of providing therapeutic foods. Continue reading

Improved access to water and sanitation in Bindura town

Members of the Chenesai Club in Bindura showcase some of the products they are producing. © UNICEF/Elizabeth Mupfumira 2015

Members of the Chenesai Club in Bindura showcase some of the products they are producing. © UNICEF/Elizabeth Mupfumira 2015

Zimbabwe, 14 July 2015 – The town of Bindura has become a shining example of the positive impact of improved access to safe water and sanitation services through the Urban Water and Sanitation Programmes.

With the assistance of funding from the Australian Government, which is managed by UNICEF, Bindura has managed to turn the fortunes of the town around since 2009, when most towns experienced the devastation of the cholera outbreak, the breakdown of infrastructure, and overall mismanagement. Five years later, Bindura has managed to build back better its water sanitation and hygiene services from a large infrastructural level, all the way down to the community level. Continue reading

Zambian Civil Society Launches Alliance to End Maternal and Child Deaths

Members of the alliance from UNICEF Zambia, MNCH Zambia, MCGMCH, World Vision Zambia and the Parliamentary Committee on Health pose for a photo after the launch. © UNICEF Zambia/2015/Maseko

Members of the alliance from UNICEF Zambia, MNCH Zambia, MCGMCH, World Vision Zambia and the Parliamentary Committee on Health pose for a photo after the launch. © UNICEF Zambia/2015/Maseko

Lusaka, Zambia, 14 July 2015 – A coalition of Zambian civil society organizations have launched an alliance aimed at helping to reduce maternal, neonatal and child deaths. In Zambia, one out of 22 children die before reaching the age of one and one in every 13 children does not survive their fifth birthday. The maternal mortality rate among women age 15-49 is 0.74 maternal deaths per 1,000 births, a rate that has fallen by 39 percent since 2007.

The alliance, which was launched in Lusaka on 31 March, is a response to A Promise Renewed – Committing to Child Survival, a global campaign that 178 governments as well as thousands of civil society organizations and the private sector have united to give every child the best possible start in life. Continue reading

Success of UN DR Congo mission hinges on ‘constructive partnership’ with Government, Security Council told

Special Representative Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Special Representative Martin Kobler. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

DR. Congo, 14 July 2015 – The capacity of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to fulfil its mandate rests on “persistent engagement” with the authorities, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the Mission, Martin Kobler, told the Security Council today.

“The success of our mandate rests on a continued, constructive, partnership with the Government,” in particular regarding the security situation in the East and the electoral process. Continue reading

Security Council extends UN peacekeeping force in Abyei through December 2015

Wide view of the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Wide view of the Security Council. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Sudan, 14 July 2015 – The United Nations Security Council has extended the mandate of the Organization’s interim peacekeeping force in Abyei – a resource-rich area contested by Sudan and South Sudan – as part of ongoing efforts to maintain peace and protect civilians in the disputed territory.

Using language similar to their previous action on the issue, the 15-member body adopted the resolution in a unanimous vote held earlier today while recognizing that the continuing tensions in Abyei and along the border between Sudan and South Sudan constituted “a serious threat to international peace and security.” Continue reading

Secretary-General’s remarks at UN Women-World Bank event on Financing for Gender Equality: Addis Ababa, 14 July 2015

I thank UN Women and the World Bank Group for bringing us together to focus on the crucial issue of financing for gender equality.

From my recent review of the 20 years of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, it is clear that we have not invested sufficiently in gender equality. Continue reading

Syria’s children at risk from water scarcity and illness amid ongoing conflict – UNICEF

A boy drinks the remaining water in his jerrycan while waiting with other children in a queue for safe water, in the town of Douma. UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1125/Khabieh

A boy drinks the remaining water in his jerrycan while waiting with other children in a queue for safe water, in the town of Douma. UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1125/Khabieh

Syria, 13 July 2015 – Syrian children are becoming increasingly vulnerable to water borne illnesses amid peaking summer temperatures and dwindling supplies of safe water, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today.

“The situation is alarming particularly for children who are susceptible to water borne diseases,” Hanaa Singer, UNICEF’s Representative in Syria reported in a press release. “With the crisis now in its fifth year, water has become even more scarce and unsafe, and poor hygiene conditions especially among the displaced communities are putting more children at severe risk.” Continue reading

In Nepal, UN and partners help quake-stricken district prepare for monsoon season

A woman receives lentil seeds in Nepal. Photo: OCHA

A woman receives lentil seeds in Nepal. Photo: OCHA

Nepal, 13 July 2015 – More than 2.8 million people remain in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian assistance in Nepal, especially in the district worst hit by the twin earthquakes east of the capital, Kathmandu, where monsoon-triggered heavy downpours, floods and landslides will soon exacerbate their needs, the United Nations has said.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), since June, as part of the pre-monsoon assistance to the communities affected by the devastating 25 April earthquake, the World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with its partner organizations – Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and Save the Children, has been distributing cooking oil, rice and lentils, which are Nepal’s staple food. Continue reading

UN chief condemns twin suicide bombings in Cameroon

A group of Nigerian refugees rest in the Cameroon town of Mora after fleeing armed Boko Haram attacks. Photo: UNHCR/D. Mbaoirem

A group of Nigerian refugees rest in the Cameroon town of Mora after fleeing armed Boko Haram attacks. Photo: UNHCR/D. Mbaoirem

Cameroon, 13 July 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the twin suicide bombings that targeted the city of Fotokol in the north of Cameroon on 12 July.

“[The Secretary-General] extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Cameroon, and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in the terrorist attacks,” said a statement issued today by a UN spokesperson. Continue reading