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Dear <<First Name>>

As Cambodia experienced a surge in COVID cases and resulting lockdowns and restrictions, UNICEF redoubled its efforts to support the Royal Government of Cambodia in its containment efforts. During April it supported national public health communications, reaching every province in Cambodia with a wide range of new materials, including videos, billboard posters and information leaflets. It also worked closely with key Ministries to support Cambodian children during the outbreak, including providing more support to teachers to enable effective learning from home, and a range of materials designed to promote good mental health during difficult times.

What's New
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KEEPING CAMBODIA INFORMED ON VACCINATIONS

After ensuring that updated public health information was disseminated online and through TV and radio throughout March, April saw UNICEF continue these efforts while also making sure we were able to reach those vaccine recipients who may live entirely offline. We continued to answer key questions on our social media and website. Despite the restrictions in place, the supply team worked successfully with the National Centre for Health Promotions to deliver 800 posters and 400,000 leaflets to vaccination sites across the country. This ensured that all recipients were informed about side effects and the necessity of continuing safe behaviours even after receiving their shots, information which is more important right now than ever.

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE VACCINATION CHAMPIONS

“These vaccines can help us recover, but there will be challenges ahead… They are new vaccines and that means there will be rumours about them. What I can do is to provide the facts, the real science. I really believe in science." Doctor Sem Sony is one of four frontline health workers working on the vaccination frontlines who we profiled to celebrate World Health Day. UNICEF supports the Royal Government of Cambodia at every step of its vaccine roll-out, including training these vaccination champions ahead of their vital work, with generous support from the Czech Republic, Hong Kong UNICEF National Committee, COVAX/GAVI and Government of Japan. We will only beat the pandemic by working together.

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE EDUCATION CHAMPIONS

 
Just as health workers protect Cambodians from the virus, teachers protect children’s education during the resulting disruption. Throughout the pandemic, UNICEF has worked closely with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to provide resources to 13,000 schools. This information not only incorporates information on COVID-19, but also focuses on health and safety, learning and teaching, inclusiveness, and wellbeing and protection of children. These are all principles that should be carefully considered during school reopenings and in situations where school are forced to close again. In addition, emergency funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has provided a lifeline to many schools. Mr. Proeun Pronh, school director of Aranhraingsei secondary school in Siem Reap, said, "the funding enabled us to photocopy handouts, assignments, and worksheets for students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who do not have smartphones. This support was so timely." Meet more education champions by clicking the link.

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UNITING FOR CHILD RIGHTS IN CAMBODIA

To deprive a child of their liberty is to deprive them of their childhood – yet it’s the reality for millions of children around the world. At the end of April, the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was launched in Cambodia, providing valuable insight into the lives and situations of these children, including in Cambodia. We co-organised the online launch event and were delighted that about 180 people joined, including children, young people, NGOs and Government officials, showing a major national commitment to this vital cause. As Foroogh Foyouzat, our Representative, said at the launch: “I believe today has been a major step forward towards ending the deprivation of children’s liberty in Cambodia, and has also shown us the way to go much further.” You can watch the launch at the link below.
 

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SUPPORTING MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION 

Children from ethnic minority backgrounds in the North Eastern provinces of Cambodia are particularly likely to miss out on educational progress as a result of school closures, given many cannot understand the Khmer language distance learning lessons which have been produced for students at this time. That’s why the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and UNICEF are working together to provide extra support to these students, thanks to funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). In April, 1,640 radios were delivered to ethnic minority students so they can receive multilingual lessons into their home. All children deserve an education, and we are grateful to GPE for this crucial practical support.

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STARS COME OUT FOR IMMUNISATION WEEK

While COVID-19 vaccines might be getting all the attention, we mustn’t forget about the life-saving powers of routine vaccinations. Diseases such as measles and polio are deadly, just like COVID-19, so for Immunisation Week we reminded people of the importance of taking children for routine vaccinations even during the pandemic. Global superstar David Beckham recorded a video which launched our celebration of immunisation, and Cambodian superstar mother DJ Nana recorded a beautiful video with her son to help us get the word out. All helped drive followers towards an online guide to the importance of routine vaccinations during a pandemic.
 

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SAFETY FIRST FOR KHMER NEW YEAR 

This Khmer New Year was not the one that Cambodians had been hoping for, with millions unable to spend the year's most important holiday with their families. However, it was important to remember that following the rules, especially the 3 DOs and 3 DON'Ts to prevent virus transmission, was also a very meaningful way of showing your love for your family, community and country. The most valuable blessing we could hope for from this year is to slow down the spread of COVID-19, a message we celebrated in a charming short animation which was viewed and shared thousands of times.

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THE ANTI-VIRAL FACEBOOK POST THAT WENT VIRAL

Sometimes a simple message can be the most powerful, especially if expressed with sincerity and creativity. "THANK YOU" is one of those messages. When we saw young local artist Mino's vibrant, playful cartoon portraying different lockdown heroes working together to battle COVID-19, including health workers, police, public servants and citizens, we knew we wanted to share it with a wider audience. Our post struck a chord with the public, with 100,000 likes and 20,000 shares in less than 48 hours. Ultimately it was seen by 4.4 million people, a quarter of the population, who clearly shared our belief that all those placing themselves at risk to contain this pandemic deserve our deepest gratitude.

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