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>Visit to Cape Verde from UNICEF's Reginal Director

Praia, November 12, 2010 - The UNICEF's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, paid an official visit to Cape Verde from 14 to 16 November 2010.

That visit from Mr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, falls under the joint initiative of several United Nations agencies and regional partners in the fight against malnutrition that currently affects millions of children in West and Central Africa.

This initiative, entitled Nutrition's Champion for Central and West Africa, intends to associate personalities who will advocate with the different authorities to end the situation of malnutrition in this region of the globe. In the case of Cape Verde, the former President, Dr. Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro, will be one of the prominent figures in this cause, which seeks to mobilize and sensitize the Heads of State and Governments, Ministries of Finance, Parliamentary and other authorities from different countries, so that the issue of malnutrition in the African sub-region is one of the priorities of their development agendas as well as the agenda of international organizations like the African Union, the African Economic Council, the Permanent Interstate Committee Drought Control in the Sahel, the Economic Community of West African states, the donors and the media.

Remember that malnutrition is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in West and Central Africa, besides affecting the growth and development of children, as well as mental and emotional development, it also affects the adults. Severely affecting millions of children, malnutrition also limits the development of economic and social potential of the countries.

Thus, knowing the existing institutional frameworks, both nationally and regionally, and because the solutions sounds familiar, it is urgent to ensure political and economic commitments firm and focused at the highest level, in order to progress in eradicating malnutrition in the region.

This is the first visit by a senior official of UNICEF in the country, after the implementation of UN reform in 2005, that in addition to fit into the above-mentioned initiative will enable the UNICEF's Regional Director to contact with national authorities, aimed at strengthening cooperation within the One Program, specifically in the areas of childhood.

During his stay in Cape Verde, addressed issues with the national authorities aiming the improving of the quality of life of children, adolescents and women in Cape Verde and greater promotion of the rights, issues that Cape Verde presents as being at a satisfactory level, in relation to the context of the African sub-region of West and Central Africa, where it belongs.

Apart from meetings with national authorities, the UNICEF's Regional Director, launched jointly with the Minister of Justice, the Hall of Specialized and Differentiated Care, for children victims of violence, abuse and rape and all forms of violence, whose project is developed and implemented by the Ministry of Justice, particularly the Judiciary Police, the Cape Verdean Institute for Children and Adolescents (ICCA) and has the technical and financial support from UNICEF.

Remember that the project aims to provide an environment adapted to physical and emotional conditions of the children, thus minimizing the denunciation circuit, to further protect the victim of sexual abuse and other forms of violence, and prevent it from being exposed at various institutions and confronted to several people. Denunciation channels now existing, with several input ports, while complying with its role tend to revictimize the victim, hence the need to make a qualitative leap in matters relating to the complaint and the investigation and criminal process, reinforcing each again the concept of children as subjects with rights. This project involves the installation of a counseling room in the structures of the Judiciary Police, equipped with a video and audio system unnoticed by the child, creating them an environment to free expression.

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