By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
A group of representatives from various United Nations (UN) agencies have started sharing and reviewing data in an attempt to improve their impact throughout Belize.
The group, including representatives from the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP).
Roberto Valent, UN resident coordinator said the idea is to pool resources together to work along with the government to ensure that Belizeans are getting the best services possible. Valent said issues including poverty, gender equality and development goals are at the top of the list.
UNICEF representative Ivan Yerovi said violence against women and children are the main cause of concern for his agency. He added that Belize needs to ensure, through the judiciary, that offenders who perpetrate violence against children, especially sexual violence, are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
PAHO representative Dr. Kathleen Israel said her agency’s main focus is on the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases throughout the country. Isael said PAHO is committed to continue working with the Ministry of Health to implement the best safety practices for the country.
Valent also noted that the UN country team also recently signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance to review the amount of funds being spent on children and to try to increase that amount. Valent said they would also be partnering to review several other programs that have been implemented over the past few years, including the boost pantry program, to see what kind of impact those programs have had and if they should continue.