Katy Perry Visits Madagascar In Support Of UNICEF
In this handout provided by UNICEF, UNICEF supporter Katy Perry visits a pre-school in the village of Sahavola on April 5, 2013 in Analanjirofo Region, Madagascar. One hundred and seventeen children, aged 3 to 6 years old, attend the school where they learn the importance of thinking creatively and working collaboratively. They are also learning the importance of good health and hygiene practises. The school was built and furnished, as well as provided with learning materials, separate latrines for girls and boys, and access to safe water, with UNICEF support. From 4 to 6 April 2013 in Madagascar, internationally acclaimed American singer/songwriter and UNICEF supporter Katy Perry visited UNICEF programmes in health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, child protection and youth development. The visit helped to focus attention on the situation of children in the country, one of the poorest in the world that is still recovering from a political crisis and an ensuing coup in 2009. Currently, some 82 per cent of Malagasies are unable to afford basic needs and services, including food and healthcare. Rates of under-five mortality have decreased but are still unacceptably high, with preventable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections, causing the majority of deaths. Fully half of the country’s children are stunted from chronic malnutrition, a condition that causes often lifelong physical and mental impairment. Maternal mortality, also high, takes the lives of eight women each day. Severely limited access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, and declining public funding for education are also impeding the ability of Malagasy children to survive and thrive. UNICEF has appealed for over US$14.9 million to support addressing these shortfalls throughout 2013.