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Sunday, July 5, 2020

UNICEF prioritizes safely reopening schools



UNICEF Executive Board President Rabab Fatima has said safely reopening schools with scaling up digital solutions and connectivity as well as maintaining routine immunizations for children amid Covid-19 pandemic are currently among priorities of UNICEF.
"UNICEF must be supported in its effort to assist our Governments to build back better for a more equitable, inclusive and greener society with a focus on innovation, efficiency and value for money," said Fatima, who is also Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN.
She said UNICEF priorities also include providing clean water and sanitation, better mental health support and psychosocial programming for children.
Ambassador Fatima, who was unanimously elected as the President of the UNICEF's EB, made the remark while addressing the closing segment of the four-day Annual Session of the Board in New York on Thursday, according to a message received in Dhaka on Saturday.
The session ended with unanimous adoption of six decisions regarding important strategic guidance and support for carrying forward UNICEF's critical work across the world.
Highlighting the multidimensional challenges facing the children and their families due to Covid-19, Ambassador Fatima appreciated UNICEF's efforts to help the governments strengthen and expand their social protection coverage.
She further encouraged UNICEF to complement and support the work of national governments through a consultative process and effective interagency collaboration.
Underscoring the importance of supporting the countries in their SDGs implementation endeavours, Fatima reflected that continued financial support is critical for the UNICEF to carry out its mandate of saving children globally.
She also acknowledged the efforts by UNICEF to reach women, girls, and boys in crisis-affected countries with gender-based violence services, and the importance of the longer-term funding requirements to facilitate the linking of humanitarian and development programming.
The closing session was addressed, among others, by UNICEF Global Staff Association chairperson Noma Owens-Ibie and executive director Henrietta H Fore.