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Mexico needs to invest in children under five, says UNICEF

MEXICO CITY, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Mexico invests less in children under five years old, a crucial stage of growth, than other Latin American countries, an official with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Monday.

Isabel Crowley, the national representative of UNICEF, said her agency will seek to stress the importance of early development in 2016.

"We undertook a study with the UNDP (UN Development Program) three months ago that clearly states that this age period suffers from the greatest lack, not just of money, but also of information," Crowley told reporters.

UNICEF, she said, will be partnering with Fundacion Televisa, the charitable arm of the Mexican TV giant, to dispense practical advice for parents to stimulate their children's development.

The media campaign, called "Begin early, each moment counts," will recommend simple measures, such as games.

Alicia Lebrija, executive president of the foundation, said "as parents, we think that children don't learn until they start school, but by then we have missed the window of opportunity offered by those first years."

The campaign will rely on TV broadcasts, print media, social networks and even text messages via cellphones to reach the families of some 12.6 million children up to the age of five.

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