Unicef and The Vital Statistics Unit are teaming up in a drive to achieve universal birth registration of the most disadvantaged children in Belize.
Simply put, the idea is to mobilize communities to register children who slip through the cracks and never get registered.
The programme targets unregistered children under the age of 18 with the goal of achieving universal birth registration in Belize by 2015.
Today the Belize City programme was launched and UNICEF"s country representative explained how you can participate:
Christine Norton - UNICEF Representative
"Belize have on average, some 7,000 children being born every year. Yet, still, when you look at the registration, really not 7,000 children are appearing to be registered. And they are not having a social security card, or an identity card. As my colleagues already mentioned, the importance of this is precisely that every child born in Belize has an identity, a recognized identity in Belize, a name, and a chance to have a nationality. The point is that today, we're in Southside, and I think that we have a great opportunity to close the gap in Southside. So, everybody who's listening to this, please come out, if you know that you're in a situation where you have incomplete registration, where you have a desire to register children born in Belize, because that is the important - all children born in Belize should be registered. We have even registered some adults because we realize that some people fell through the cracks. We'll help you. So do come, we have 5 centers. Sammuel Haynes is 1, Youth for the Future, the YMCA, - you can also go to the main Vital Statistics Office, which is on Gabourel Lane. We have Clara Muhammad Muslim School."
A total of 9,364 new birth certificates have been delivered to children and their families in 110 communities in Toledo, Stann Creek and Corozal Districts.