Agencies of the UN: UNICEF

General Information

Cape Verde seems to be on target to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before 2015.  Estimates are that if GDP continues to grow at the same robust pace (10.8% in 2006 BCV), poverty may be reduced to half of its 1990 value before 2015. In 2007, the poverty rate has been estimated by the National Institute of statistics to 27%. This means that the absolute poverty has been decreased from its level of 2002 (37%).  In Cape Verde some of the MDGs have already been reached at the macro level; some will be gradually reached as a result of the implementation of the GPRS, while others such as sanitation and infrastructure are expected to remain major problem areas given the huge investment needs.  There is also a growing disparity between rich and poor, urban and rural areas, men and women, and between Islands. Women continue to be highly vulnerable. The country has already been graduated from the LDCs since January 2008.

Country Indicators


491,575 (2010)


27% (2007)

Percentage of severely and moderately malnourished children

10% (2009)

Net enrolment ratio in primary education

92% (2009)

Youth literacy rate

96% (2007)

Under five infant mortality

24% (2009)

Maternal mortality

53,7/100.000 (2009)

HIV/AIDS prevalence

0.8% (2005)

Access to safe drinking water

90% (2007)

Access to improved sanitation

56% (2007)

UNICEF Intervention

First January 2006, a first joint office of the UN was established in Cape Verde. This joint office is composed of the four EXcom agencies namely UNDP, UNFPA, UNCEF and WFP. These agencies have one programme, with four pilars: Consolidation of Democratic Governance, Improvement of Growth and Opportunities for vulnerable people, Environment and Development of Human Capital and Social sectors reform including social protection for children.

In the context of the UN Reform, UN Agencies decide to align and harmonized their programmes and interventions, and  on 1st July 2008 the One Program was launched which have four programs and nine sub programs and UNICEF is leading the sub-program  Child Protection and Social Protection, placing children as a priority in this context.

In the frame of delivering as One, UNICEF is working with de Government of  Cape Verde to promote the best life for capeverdean´s children through the support of strengthen polity in different areas, such as health, education, protection and participation, building legal framework that address children's rights  and ensuring appropriate resources allocation.

During the programme UNICEF, in collaboration with others UN Agencies, will assist the Government to strengthen its capacity to respond and provide quality basic social services for children and women in the new context of the Country Graduation from LDC´s.

Child Survival

Health and Nutrition 
UNICEF Child Survival intervention in Cape Verde is addressed to promote quality of services and to address to the major causes that affect child survival.

UNICEF is supporting the Government in defining policies for the health sector. 

Immunization: UNICEF is participating in the integrated immunization campaign, in providing vaccines facilities, training and communication activities

Nutrition :  UNICEF is supporting, with others UN Agencies to prevent malnutrition. UNICE is supporting activities to reinforce children health with micronutrients, such as iron, promoting breastfeeding, including by the legislative way (Artificial Milk Commercialization Code). In other hand is supporting with de-worming tablets for all children in school and pre-school age.

HIV-AIDS: The major intervention of UNICEF is on the prevention of vertical transmission providing laboratory equipments, ARV procurement and training

Water, Hygiene and Sanitation: The major intervention of UNICEF in this area is with Ministry of Education, at a national and local level. The objective is to provide and ensure that schools have safe water and properly and functional hygiene infrastructure. The activities are in providing facilities for schools, teachers training, communication activities.

Child Development


Education is on of the national priority for the Government of Cape Verde. The enrolment rate in Cape Verde for basic education is one of the highest in Africa. For Cape Verde the major investment in the sector of education should be to ensure more quality on the basic education that will contribute in the future for better participation in social, economic and political activities and adopting a healthy life style.

Cape Verde is observing gender parity in basic education.

Early Childhood : UNICEF is supporting to facilitate training for teachers, to strengthening theirs capacity in all pedagogic aspects including special training for better manage disable children in the inclusion process. UNICEF is providing with pedagogic materials to the pre-school children. On policy side UNICEF  is working in partnership with the Government on the generalization of the pre-school at a national level.

Basic Education :  As the quality is one of the major challenge in the sector, the UNICEF support is specially on policies, strategic interventions, data collection and evaluation. UNICEF strongly in the curriculum review and integration of new approaches, training for education programs experts, training for teachers and pedagogic supervisors .   

Child Protection 

The UNICEF intervention in this area is to contribute to achieve a better legal and protection system for all children and specially for vulnerable children and to ensure  their right of participation.

 Legal framework : UNICEF is supporting a legislative review to ensure that children rights is tacking account with a integrated approach and it will culminate on Children and Adolescents Statute (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente).

Social Policy for Children and Adolescents : will guide for an strategic and coordinate intervention in all areas related to children and will ensure more effectiveness in responses of children needs.

Children Victims of irregular   migration : UNICEF, with the national counterparts is designing a system  that will ensure the observances of all theirs rights in accordance with national laws and with the Convention of Rights of Children (CRC).

Birth registration : In view to guarantee that all new born in Cape Verde  have their birth registration, UNICEF, in collaboration with Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health,  is supporting instillation of the official bureau  for birth registration main important hospitals, and provides training for professionals of this two sectors.

Orphans and Vulnerable : UNICEF is supporting on the policy side and with specific support , with materials, to contribute that all rights are observed

Children and Juvenile Justice : The intervention of UNICEF is mainly on policy dialogue. UNICEF will support  a national institution  strengthening and design and implementation of National System for Justice Juvenile.