USA and UNICEF renew partnership for improving child health

The nutritional shocks on young children whose families have lost their income as a result of the lockdown may have long lasting effects. Shutterstock

The renewal of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) longstanding partnership with UNICEF will help improve the health and well-being of mothers, children, families, and communities around the world.

The five-year award, worth up to $300 million US Dollars in direct programme funding, will be directed toward programmes in health; education; water, sanitation, and hygiene; youth engagement; and child protection. It is on top of the US Government’s $134 million annual contributions to UNICEF, as well as USAID’s $61 million investment in 2020 focused on urgent COVID-19 prevention and response in over 60 high-burden countries.

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, said: “With this generous commitment, UNICEF and USAID can continue our work to make sure children all over the world have access to the health care and critical services that will support their prospects for a brighter future. This includes children’s ability to go to school, so that an entire generation’s potential isn’t lost to COVID-19.”

UNICEF programmes, with the continued help of the US, will strengthen local capacity, support the resilience of community and country systems in responding to public health emergencies and other crises, and maximise the lasting impact of the investment.

Samantha Power, USAID Administrator, said the award would achieve two key goals – help countries respond to the urgent needs of the pandemic, and continue to address the agency’s priorities in preventing maternal and child deaths. “At this critical time, we urge all G7 members and other governments to join us in stepping up their support for UNICEF’s vital work,” she added.

The United States is UNICEF’s leading government donor, with nearly $994 million in contributions in 2020 for both humanitarian and development programmes. UNICEF’s partnership with the U.S. Government is broad and diverse, spanning humanitarian and development programmes across key areas of UNICEF’s work, including health; education; early child development; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); nutrition; child protection; gender equality; HIV and AIDS; immunization; and research programmes.

Author: Simon Weedy

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