Kimberly-Clark is donating millions of dollars to Unicef through its brand Huggies, to care for children in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the region, too many children die from preventable diseases, which is why Kimberly-Clark is donating $7.2m to Unicef, which will use the money to fund its current Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives in 16 different countries including Guatemala, Peru, Paraguay, Honduras and El Salvador.
The contribution is part of ‘No Child Unhugged’, a global program started in 2010 that has assisted three million babies through hospital partnerships, NGO partnerships and diaper and wipe donations. While the donation is the largest Kimberly-Clark has made to Unicef to date, the two million children it will affect over the next three years is still a drop in the bucket compared to the 193 million boys and girls living in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"At Kimberly-Clark, we are deeply committed to keeping babies healthy, loved and safe during those first critical moments in their lives," said Sergio Cruz, president for Kimberly-Clark Latin America. "By partnering with Unicef to bring 'No Baby Unhugged' to Latin America, we are able to strengthen its Early Childhood Development programs that are vital to saving and improving babies' lives.”
In Latin America, according to Unicef, half of all babies in the region die within the first 28 days of life, and access to essential services such as health, education, protection programs, and more baby-friendly environments is a critical need. In addition, nutrition, care and security can dramatically impact children both physically and mentally.
"The development of children, especially during their early years, is influenced by the support of the family and surrounding environment, along with the accessibility and quality of integrated early childhood development systems," said Maria Cristina Perceval, Unicef regional director. "Nevertheless, millions of children in our region are deprived of the protection, stimulation, nutrition, and care they need to fully develop.”
Through the partnership with Kimberly-Clark, Unicef will be able to provide many essential services to the region such as neonatal care, creating baby-friendly environments at hospitals and clinics and training frontline workers in child care.
"Unicef has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and families around the world," said Juanita Pelaez Zambrano, general manager, baby and child care for Kimberly-Clark. "We know more babies and mothers will have access to essential health services, counselling and the support they need from the start thanks to the partnership with Unicef."