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  1. 1

    The effects of armed conflict on girls. A discussion paper for the UN Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children.

    Almquist K; Muhumuza R; Westwood D

    Monrovia, California, World Vision International, 1996 Jul. 35 p. (World Vision Staff Working Paper No. 23)

    This preliminary discussion paper on The Effects of Armed Conflict on Girls undertaken within the context of the UN Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, aimed to determine whether girls suffer more, less, or at least differently from boys. In conducting the study it was attempted to pull together the experiences of various World Vision programs working with girls in the following areas: 1) their active participation in armed conflicts; 2) the particular vulnerabilities they face due to displacement; 3) their health and nutrition; 4) their traditional roles; and 5) the targeting of girls for violence and abuse. The evidence that was collected indicated that while there was commonality in the experiences of boys and girls, girls were affected in different ways to boys by armed conflict. The most significant differences were the targeting of girls for sexual abuse and rape, with the psychological and physical needs this induces, and the lack of reproductive health services to meet even the most basic needs of girls and women. The paper helps to raise awareness of some of the particular vulnerabilities of girls in armed conflicts, and highlights some possible research hypotheses for more comprehensive study.
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  2. 2

    National performance gaps.

    Dasgupta P

    In: The progress of nations, 1996, [compiled by] UNICEF. New York, New York, UNICEF, 1996. 33-4.

    This article's author argues that, at present, governments are the only resource allocation agency for promoting positive rights (PRs) and preventing widespread human destitution or ill-being. Market forces allocate resources according to purchasing power rather than need and can create poverty. Poverty, rapid population growth, and environmental degradation are forces that push people into destitution. Honoring PRs is fundamental to economic progress, social cohesion, and political stability. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to promote positive (something to be done) and negative rights (something not to be done). PRs in the Convention are the right to adequate nutrition, primary health care, and a basic education. PRs are dependent upon resources, which are affected by scarcity and competition. Negative rights are feasible without limitations and are available in rich or poor countries. Article 24 of the Convention urges countries to reduce infant and child mortality and combat disease and malnutrition. Article 4 allows that countries shall undertake the aforementioned measures to the maximum extent of their available resources. The difficulty with the Convention is the ability of countries to assess whether governments guarantee PRs to the maximum extent of available resources. The "Progress of Nations 1993" identifies the National Performance Gap as an assessment measure of the percentage of children adequately nourished, the percentage being educated to at least grade 5, and the percentage surviving to age 5 against gross national product per capita. Some argue that services and commodities necessary for better health and adequate nutrition are not rights but needs. The counterargument is that needs become rights when countries are capable of meeting that need and the need becomes essential to human well-being.
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  3. 3

    Income generating activities for women under the World Bank assisted ICDS project in Andhra Pradesh -- an evaluation.

    Raghveer P

    In: Women's development: problems and prospects, edited by Shamim Aleem. New Delhi, India, APH Publishing Corporation, 1996. 149-56.

    Launched on October 2, 1975, to enhance the health, nutrition, and learning opportunities for children under age 6 years and their mothers by simultaneously providing all requisite services at the village level, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is the world's largest child nutrition, health, and mothercare program. The ICDS provides a package of services in supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-ups, referral services, the treatment of minor illnesses, nutrition and health education, water supply, and sanitation. One objective of the ICDS is to enhance the capability of mothers to meet the normal health and nutritional needs of their children through proper nutrition and health education. The ICDS is currently being implemented in more than 3000 of 5153 community development blocks in India. A 6-year subprogram was launched in 1990 with World Bank support to accelerate the pace of improvement in the nutrition and health status of children under age 6 years. 6148 Mahila Mandals have been involved in the World Bank ICDS Project in 52 blocks. Subprogram evaluation findings are presented.
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  4. 4

    The condition of young children in sub-Saharan Africa: the convergence of health, nutrition, and early education.

    Colletta NJ; Balachander J; Liang X

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1996. xiii, 43 p. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 326; Africa Technical Department Series)

    Persistent poverty, rapid population growth, urbanization, a changing family structure, internal civil strife, and growing numbers of orphans and displaced women have had devastating consequences for children in sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa Region's Initiative on Early Childhood Development (ECD) seeks to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of poverty and promote child survival, school efficiency, economic productivity, and social equity by targeting the critical period between birth and school enrollment. Intensive exposure to a well-planned child care intervention project (especially one that serves both child and family and provides integrated health, nutrition, and education services) can have important implications for intellectual development and subsequent school and social adaptation. The Africa ECD Initiative, described in full in this report, entails a three-pronged strategy: 1) knowledge generation and dissemination, 2) prototype program development, and 3) institutional capacity building, with an emphasis on expanding the traditional role of the female child beyond that of care giver. Given the limited financial resources in sub-Saharan Africa, ECD programs must take advantage of existing health and education programs, mobilize additional community resources, or reallocate the current budget. A second study on policy, programmatic, and financial efforts of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations to address the needs of children at risk is underway.
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  5. 5

    Hep B: more haves, but too many have-nots.


    There are an estimated 350 million chronic carriers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide, most of whom are children, and an estimated 1.2 million people die annually from an HBV-related disease. However, immunizing infants against HBV could prevent new infections and reduce levels of HBV-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. To that end, the Expanded Program on Immunization in 1991 set 1997 as the target date for all countries' national immunization programs to have adopted HBV vaccine into their universal immunization package. 80 World Health Organization (WHO) member states have met this goal and 10 more countries plan to soon incorporate HBV. That means that there are still 110 WHO member states not using vaccine against HBV. The vaccine is now reaching only 20% of the world's infants. Real problems remain to be surmounted in delivering HBV vaccine to children in the poorest countries, places which cannot afford the vaccine but often have a heavy burden of hepatitis B disease. 63 priority countries have been identified, countries in which more than 5% of the population is chronically infected and there is an efficient immunization infrastructure.
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  6. 6

    A look at Unicef at the mid-way mark.

    Fraser CG

    EARTH TIMES. 1996 Oct 16-31; 9(18):7.

    71 national leaders and representatives of more than 150 countries attended the 1990 World Summit for Children to implement the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection, and Development of Children, setting goals for the year 2000. The major goals of the summit were to reduce the levels of infant, child, and maternal mortality; reduce child malnutrition; improve access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and education; reduce the level of adult illiteracy; and protect children in particularly difficult situations, such as war. Six years after the summit, 129 countries have met the mid-decade goals of 80% immunization coverage, polio is close to being eradicated, guinea worm disease has almost disappeared, there has been a dramatic reduction in levels of iodine deficiency, the treatment and prevention of diarrhea have improved, neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in 100 countries, there is strong support for breastfeeding, and the mid-decade goal to expand water supply coverage has been surpassed. Maternal mortality and nutrition, population growth, and vitamin A deficiency remain problematic. The author notes that the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) was created in 1946 to distribute blankets and dried milk to European children after World War II. It is a billion-dollar-a-year agency with 7600 employees and programs in 140 countries.
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  7. 7

    The state of the world's children 1996.

    Bellamy C

    Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1996. 103 p.

    This special issue on the state of the world's children commemorates the 50th year of UNICEF. Three main topics are addressed: 1) an anti-war plan and protection of children in armed conflict; 2) a review of 50 years of UNICEF activities directed toward improving child welfare and health; and 3) for each of 150 countries, a statistical compendium of basic indicators of child health, nutrition, education, demography, economic conditions, and women's status. For 40 less populous countries, some basic indicators are compared. The final country-specific table presents measures of human development (the under-five mortality rate and total fertility rate) for 1960, 1980, and 1994 and the average annual rate of reduction during 1960-80 and 1980-94, and required during 1994-2000. Regional summaries are presented in a separate table for the same indicators in the country-specific tables. Chapter I describes the effects of war on children that includes "children thrown into mass graves, wandering without parents, or wasting away in refugee camps." Chapter II delineates the response to the needs of children over a period of 50 years and addresses issues such as violence against children, poverty, and hunger. Child mortality rates have dropped by about 50% and basic immunization has saved many millions of lives. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified by 179 countries by September 1995. UNICEF believes that the gap between rhetoric and reality presents a challenge for the future and that peacemaking and care efforts have accompanied the tragedies. Today's disputes are viewed as struggles for resources and survival that require an investment in the physical, mental, and emotional development of children. UNICEF's anti-war agenda includes removing child soldiers from battlefields, banning the manufacture of anti-personnel land mines, establishing zones of peace for children, and other preventive actions.
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  8. 8

    Social mobilization beyond 2000. Guest commentary.

    Manoncourt E

    CHILD SURVIVAL BASICS. 1996 Spring; (2):1, 10.

    The concept of social mobilization has been central to UNICEF's efforts to create a supportive environment for child survival initiatives. Social mobilization entails a broad-scale movement focused on achieving specific development goals through a process of intersectoral alliances, creation of demand for services, community participation, and capacity building. Experience has demonstrated the importance of adapting individual mobilization efforts to the specific country setting and policy framework. Social mobilization activities should be fully integrated into the program strategy and guided by both situational and behavioral analyses. Their success depends on identifying and working with key allies and partners.
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  9. 9

    The importance of breastfeeding training.

    Palmer G

    AFRICA HEALTH. 1996 May; 18(4):15.

    The lack of knowledge about breast feeding on the part of health personnel represents a major barrier to improving child health in developing countries. For example, in many areas, health workers convince new mothers that they cannot breast feed because of the shape of the breast or nipple. To promote breast feeding, WHO and UNICEF are encouraging the development of specialized training programs. The WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative was established to implement the goals of the Innocenti Declaration, which calls for global breast feeding and the removal of obstacles to breast feeding within the health care system, at the workplace, and in the community. Each year, 25 health professionals from all regions of the world attend a four-week course on "Breast feeding: Practice and Policy" at London's Institute of Child Health. The curriculum covers the physiology, biochemistry, and management of breast feeding; counseling skills; social and political issues; and special situations such as feeding sick babies. African physicians, midwives, nurses, and nutritionists who have participated in this course have returned to establish similar seminars in their region. In addition, WHO and UNICEF have developed a 40-hour training package intended for regional training.
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