Annual Review Meeting of the Cooperation Programme between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and UNICEF
BISHKEK, 12 December 2012 – UNICEF and partners hold the first Annual Review Meeting of the Cooperation Programme between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and UNICEF for 2012-2016 in the Kyrgzy capital Bishkek today.
More than a hundred decision makers and technical specialists in the areas of child health, education, nutrition, children and social protection, construction and emergency preparedness, are invited to review results towards, and barriers for, realisation of children’s rights in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Apart from sectoral presentations on achievements, identified problems and future plans, this meeting provides a unique opportunity for discussion of cross sectoral issues such as nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation which involve several different sectors and require inter-sectorial coordination and clear distribution of tasks and responsibilities.
In his welcoming speech, UNICEF Representative Jonathan Veitch reiterates importance of cross sectoral cooperation, partnership and engagement of young people for the success of on-going activities. The experience shows that most of the effective programmes succeed thanks to commitments and fruitful collaboration of various actors at all levels and from different sectors. At the policy level, such achievements include the adoption of the new Code on Children, an increase of size and coverage of cash transfers for families with low income, and recent parliamentary hearings on pre-school education. At the level of service provision, the effective programmes are reduction of child mortality, reduction of anaemia thanks to the Gulazyk nutritional initiative, and increase of school preparedness programme coverage.
The results of 2012 constitute a vigorous start of the Programme. There are also signs for serious concerns. One of them is security of social spending. This year, the Government has managed to maintain its planned level of social spending. However, current levels of spending are not enough to ensure quality outcomes for children. Extra efforts are needed to ensure that expenditure on crucial areas such as healthcare, education and social protection will be maintained (or increased if possible) in the medium term, and that all spending decisions promote pro-poor growth.
The Programme of Cooperation for 2012-2016 with an initial estimated budget of more than 30 mln USD was signed by Vice-Prime Minister for Social Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic on 13 January 2012. Despite funding constraints globally, it is the most ambitious country programme in terms of funding amount and scope of programme.
It comprises of three components. The first two components support national systems and local partners, respectively, to ensure that reforms at the central level are effectively translated into increased access to quality social services by the most vulnerable and marginalized women, girls and boys. The third component contributes to creating an enabling environment for the realization of the rights of adolescents and children.
Its overall goal is to support government and civil society efforts to increase equity and the social inclusion of children who need protection, who live in poverty and who are at risk of ethnic violence, so that they can exercise their rights. The proposed programme of cooperation addresses the three key development challenges for the realization of child rights in Kyrgyzstan: poverty, social exclusion and vulnerability, and chronic system weaknesses.
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