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Rabab Fatima: Safely reopening schools among Unicef priorities

  • Published at 02:58 pm July 4th, 2020
President of Unicef Executive Board and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima
File photo: President of Unicef Executive Board and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima addresses the first-ever virtual Annual Session of the Unicef Executive Board in New York on June 30, 2020 PID

The UN agency for children’s rights must be supported in its efforts to help governments to build a more equitable, inclusive and greener society, she says

Safe reopening of schools with scaling up digital solutions and connectivity, as well as maintaining routine immunizations for children amid the Covid-19 pandemic, are currently among the priorities of the United Nations International Children’s Fund (Unicef), its Executive Board President Rabab Fatima has said.

“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 the permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN.

She said Unicef priorities also include providing clean water and sanitation, better mental health support and psychosocial programming for children, BSS reported.

Ambassador Fatima, who was unanimously elected as the president of Unicef executive board, made the remark while addressing the closing segment of the four-day Annual Session of the board in New York, US on Thursday, according to a message received 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 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.

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