SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – UNICEF Netherlands will continue its efforts to improve the situation of children on Sint Maarten, which started in 2017, in response to the aftermath of hurricane Irma.
The continuation of their work is made possible with funding from the Sint Maarten Trust Fund financed by the Government of The Netherlands, managed by The World Bank, in close cooperation with the Government of Sint Maarten.
“We are very glad to share this news. With this additional funding we can continue strengthening children’s rights which is an important facet to ‘building back better’. This includes focusing on areas such as improving disaster preparedness, psychosocial support, and child protection.
“The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, has been a great partner and we look forward to continuing our work with them as well as with our other key counterparts in the government, including the Court of Guardianship,” explains Marieke Roelfsema of UNICEF Netherlands.
The Trust Fund’s financial support will allow UNICEF Netherlands to continue its support to the government to prepare the island for hurricanes and other potential disasters, including a pandemic such as the corona virus. Some of these actions are providing tools and safeguards to continue education during disasters, providing psychosocial help to children and teachers, and ensuring that children are protected under the difficult circumstances of a disaster.
Protection and participation
In addition, work is being done to improve child protection in Sint Maarten, especially for children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. The participation of young people and their ability to know their rights and contribute to society is also part of the program.
UNICEF has a vast network that is producing educational material regarding safety and health during the epidemic, which is specifically catered to children. UNICEF Netherlands will continue providing reliable information, especially to parents and children via social media, for example about washing hands and other measures that are so important to prevent the virus from spreading.