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Problems mobilizing resources limit Unicef’s reach in Cuba

Havana, July 8 (Prensa Latina) The representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) here, Alejandra Trossero, considered the difficulties in mobilizing resources, today limit the scope and impact of that agency's work in Cuba.

Unlike other countries, Cuba has a small group of donors due to the problems we know about and the sanctions imposed on it.

There are many difficulties in articulating donations and cooperation, she assured in statements to Prensa Latina.

These circumstances, she said, “put the country at a disadvantage, especially with respect to financing for development, because there are very big limitations to obtaining the specific funds it needs.”

Despite this, she is “very satisfied with Unicef’s results in the nation during 2023, “mainly because it maintains very positive working ties” with state agencies and institutions.

We did, she commented, intense work in the maternal and child area, with emphasis on “strengthening the capabilities of health professionals to care for newborns with low weight or other complications.”

We reinforced neonatology services in 19 centers, bringing necessary supplies to save lives, and at the same time we trained nearly 5 thousand professionals in that area alone, said Trossero, Unicef ​​representative in Cuba since January 2022.

“We also bring vaccines. Cuba has great capacity to produce them, but one in particular, for children under one year old, cannot be produced. We are committed to bringing them every year,” she explained.

It is, she pointed out, the so-called triple vaccine (it can prevent measles, mumps and rubella) and last year we brought 93 thousand doses.

In 2023, as she reported, “cold chains were also strengthened to transport and protect vaccines,” in addition to “incorporating high-performance ambulances to assist pregnant women in critical condition, which will allow them to reach more than 30,000 pregnant women.” All this work, she stressed, was possible due to the coordination and joint efforts with the Pan American Health Organization and the World Food Program, among other agencies.

I want to highlight the support for the nutrition of pregnant women and newborns. We promote breastfeeding as the best food and, with the Government, we work to ensure dietary diversity for the mother and thus guarantee good nutrition for the child, he highlighted.

Obviously, he declared, we want to do much more, because we know the difficult situation in the country…, and the truth is, sometimes we feel a little frustration for not being able to, although we do everything within our power.

“One of the biggest concerns is the lack of pediatric medications. It is a priority to obtain financing to be able to bring them. I know the reality of the country and that is a strong personal commitment, not only from Unicef,” he stated.