Kimberly-Clark and UNICEF have joined to improve the lives of nearly two million babies and young children across 16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over the next three years, Kimberly-Clark's contribution through Huggies global "No Baby Unhugged" program will support and grow UNICEF's current Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In Latin America, where one child dies every three minutes of preventable diseases and 52 percent die in the first 28 days of life, access to essential services such as health, education, protection programs, and more baby-friendly environments is a critical life-saving need.

"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."

Through the partnership, UNICEF's Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs will continue growing to improve children's lives and ensure that parents are supported and engaged in nurturing care and positive parenting with their children, including:

  • Ensuring babies receive quality services, including neonatal care
  • Creating baby-friendly environments at area hospitals and clinics
  • Training frontline workers to provide essential services for young children and their families to address children's needs and ensure that parents are supported
  • Ensuring that families have the support needed to take care of their children and provide an enriched and safe environment for child development

"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," says Maria Cristina Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director. "Nevertheless, million of children in our region are deprived of the protection, stimulation, nutrition, and care they need to fully develop. We appreciate the confidence that Kimberly Clark has placed in UNICEF to continue working together to ensure that every child not only survive but also reach his or her full potential."

The contribution of $7.2 million is the company's largest to UNICEF to date and represents its ongoing commitment to help babies thrive."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, 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."