UNICEF provides more support for children in State care

THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated $2.4 million worth of sanitising and hygiene supplies to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), to help protect nearly 1,700 children in 50 residential care facilities against COVID-19.

The items were handed over on Monday at the offices of the CPFSA.

“UNICEF’s response to COVID-19 is focused on providing critical services for children and families who are in particularly vulnerable situations, including children who are in residential care. We are very pleased to make this donation to the CPFSA, knowing that it will help to protect thousands of children,” said Mariko Kagoshima, the representative for UNICEF Jamaica.

“While CPFSA and UNICEF are jointly working toward more family-based care – including the foster care system – which is proven suitable for the development of children, we need to protect children who are currently living in the residential institutions, who are acutely vulnerable at this time,” added Kagoshima.

CEO of the CPFSA Rosalee Gage-Grey commended UNICEF for its continued partnership in the care and protection of Jamaican children, especially children in State care.

“We are heartened by this support as the country continues to tackle the threat of COVID-19. These additional supplies will further strengthen our fight against the virus entering any of our child care facilities islandwide; supplies will be dispatched in the coming weeks,” said Gage-Grey.

She added that the CPFSA is grateful for the outpouring of support received from corporate Jamaica and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

As part of its COVID-19 response, UNICEF has also supported the establishment of parenting helplines, operated by the National Parenting Support Commission, to provide parents across the island with support as they cope with the impact of COVID-19 on their children.

UNICEF is also supporting the procurement of tablets for children with disabilities, who are unable to access online learning, and donating supplies for children, who are in correctional institutions.

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