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Working Together to Reach All of India’s Children: Government of India and UNICEF Sign Five-Year Plan of Action

© UNICEF/Omesh Matta/2008
Ms.Ann Hasselbalch,Officer-in-Charge of UNICEF (extreme right) signing the five-year Country Programme. Facing her is the Government of India team, headed by Dr. Manjula Krishnan,Economic Advisor, Ministry of Women and Child Development (second from left)

New Delhi, 03 June 2008 – The Government of India and UNICEF today reaffirmed their joint commitment to tackling the most pressing problems impacting the survival and well-being of the children of India with the signing of a new five-year action plan, the GOI-UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan 2008-2012.

Over the last few years, India has seen impressive economic growth as well as significant progress in social development. The economy has gone from strength to strength, while the proportion of the population below the poverty line has been gradually decreasing.

The Government of India (GOI) recognises that the benefits of the remarkable growth rates that India has seen in recent years also need to reach its most disadvantaged populations.

“GOI has adopted National Development Targets which are in line with, and at times even more ambitious than, the Millennium Development Goals. While the rate of progress needs to be accelerated in order to meet many of these targets, the Government’s commitment to ‘inclusive growth’ presents a unique opportunity to improve the lives of all Indian children,” said Manjula Krishnan, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Women and Child Development, GOI. “Around one fifth of all the world’s children live in India. If the world is to achieve the MDGs, it is imperative that India achieve the MDGs. The new GOI-UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan for 2008 to 2012, is a joint plan designed to help India achieve its goals and to ensure that no child is left behind as India moves forward,” said Ann Hasselbalch, Officer-in-Charge, UNICEF India Country Office.

With the signing of the GOI-UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan 2008-2012, UNICEF commits its support to the Government of India’s flagship programmes in the social sector in order to support and strengthen their essential work. UNICEF will increase its engagement with civil society and establish innovative partnerships to promote the well-being and survival of India’s children. UNICEF commits to raising $512 million for this five-year programme of cooperation in India.

The GOI-UNICEF Country Programme Action Plan 2008-2012 will be implemented in 15 states of India and focuses on the reduction of India’s infant mortality and maternal mortality rates (IMR and MMR), fighting undernutrition, tackling HIV, providing quality education, ensuring safe water and environmental sanitation, as well as progress on child protection issues.

The GOI-UNICEF 2008-2012 Country Programme Action Plan is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international and regional conventions.

For more information, please contact:
Alistair Gretarsson, Communication Officer, UNICEF India
Tel: 098-7153-5586, E-mail: agretarsson@unicef.org

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