First babies of the new decade; Australia's escalating bushfire emergency; Haiti 10 years after the earthquake; And, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson calls for increased support for Venezuela's refugee and migrant children.

 

2020's Newest Editions


Sharifah, 27, was the first to give birth at a hospital in Uganda on the 1st of January, welcoming the new decade with a beautiful baby girl.

Sharifah was so excited to bring her into the world. She hasn't given her newborn baby a name yet, but has decided it will be either Samirah or Amirah.

"I decided to deliver from this hospital because it has all necessary equipment for child birth," she says. Sharifah is looking forward to taking her new baby home and embarking on the journey of motherhood.
A portrait of Sharifah's first born child. Sharifah, 27, was the first to give birth in a hospital in Uganda on the 1st of January welcoming the new decade with a beautiful baby girl. © UNICEF/UNI259454/Abdul
Madrine, a Midwife at a hospital in Uganda, is pictured holding newly delivered twin girls, Babirye and Nakato. © UNICEF/UNI261023/Abdul

Midwife Madrine is passionate about saving the lives of babies.

"There is a procedure called resuscitation. A baby is born and there is no life, and even the mother has lost hope, so bringing the baby back to life is the best part of my job," Madrine says.


Australia's Bushfire Emergency

 

Australia has been hit with one of the worst bushfire seasons on record. Major blazes have killed at least 26 people, destroyed almost 1,700 homes and burned more than 8.4 million hectares.

While Australia has always experienced bushfires, this year, the country has set a new temperature records with some average daily temperatures reaching 41.9°C. The record temperatures come on top of a prolonged period of drought and water shortages. 

Professional and thousands of volunteer firefighters are on the line battling the flames around the clock. They have saved more than 11,000 homes and 4,000 outbuildings or facilities.

Burning embers cover the ground as firefighters battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. © UNICEF/UNI267456/Khan/AFP-Services
Children play at the showgrounds in the southern New South Wales town of Bega where they are camping after being evacuated from nearby sites affected by bushfires on December 31, 2019. © UNICEF/UNI266318/Davey/AFP-Services


10 Years On


Ten years ago, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated parts of Haiti, destroying much of the country’s fragile infrastructure and leaving many Haitians in dire need of assistance.

UNICEF rapidly mobilised staff in affected areas to save lives - providing emergency water and sanitation, food, shelter, medical assistance, as well as care and support for children who had become separated from their families and caregivers.
 
Ten years ago, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. © UNICEF/UNI87990/LeMoyne
By January 2017, UNICEF had completed the restoration of 14 schools, with another 107 in various stages of progress. These restored schools have made it possible for 4,200 students to return to class. In total, it’s expected that over 36,000 students will return to the schools rehabilitated by UNICEF. © UNICEF/UN047536/Bradley

UNICEF then continued programmatic efforts to help children recover, and worked with partners to strengthen national systems around resilience, protection, health, nutrition, education and more.

A decade later, challenges remain. With a long-term presence in the country, UNICEF remains committed to the children of Haiti, working with the government and other partners to reach vulnerable children with much-needed support.
 

Neeson calls for greater support for Venezuela


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson joined UNICEF in urging the international community to increase its support to refugee and migrant children from Venezuela in need of assistance across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Neeson met with vulnerable Venezuelan children and families, as well as those from host communities in early January.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are already hosting about 3.9 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in what has become one of the world’s largest migration flows. The number of families leaving Venezuela continues to rise.

This year, over 1.9 million children, including both Venezuelan migrants and those from host communities, are expected to need assistance.
 
On 7 January 2020 in Brazil, families stay at the Janakoida indigenous shelter in Pacaraima near the border with Venezuela.© UNICEF/UNI268691/Hiller
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Liam Neeson joined UNICEF in urging the international community to increase its support to refugee and migrant children from Venezuela in need of assistance across Latin America and the Caribbean.© UNICEF/UNI268515/Hiller

Inspired? Even from here in Australia, you can do your bit!

UNICEF humanitarians do incredible work out in the field but you too can help all around the world by signing up to make a monthly gift & joining our special group of Global Parents.

UNICEF can reach children no one else can. We can provide safe places for children to learn and play, deliver clean water and life-changing supplies, bring a child back from severe malnutrition and make sure every child smiles. But we can’t do it alone. Help UNICEF deliver these things and more to every child.

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