UNICEF in Mongolia
UNICEF cooperation with the Government of Mongolia began in 1963. However, it opened its office only in 1991. At that time, the UNICEF office had a small budget, a small project and with only two local staff.
UNICEF Mongolia office, from 1991 to 2001 was a sub-office under the UNICEF Office in Beijing, People’s Republic of China and it became a full-fledged country office on 12 April 2002.
The UNICEF Office in Mongolia is presently implementing the fifth country programme covering the period from the year 2007 to 2011.
The overall goal of the country programme is to support the four strategic UN Development Assistance Framework outcomes, facilitate the efforts of the Government on child related Millennium Development Goals in the National Development Strategy 2015 and support the National Programme of Action for the Development and Protection of Children 2002-2010.
During the last 15 years, there have been significant socio-economic achievements in the country, particularly MDG Goals for child mortality and universal primary education were achieved.
However, challenges remain including: widening disparity between urban and rural areas; deepening of poverty in peri-urban centres due to in-migration; and unchanged poverty rates for over a decade with more than a third of population below the poverty line. ‘Unintended’ consequences for children manifested in the form of increased school drop-outs, abandoned and street children, child labour, and commercial sexual exploitation of children and trafficking of young women also remain as key challenges.
Therefore, the following programmes will focus on the sector-specific issues:
The Policy Analysis and Participation Programme will continue capacity building for and operationalization of DevInfo for monitoring the MDGs at national and sub-national levels and the use of data on the situation of children for national planning and programming and will facilitate the institutionalization of children and young people’s participation at grass roots, sub-national and national level.
The Child Health and Nutrition Programme will strengthen the capacity of the national vaccine fund to sustain high immunization coverage nationally, contribute to the efforts of disease elimination and focus on ‘hard-to-reach’ districts by applying the ‘Reach Every District’ (RED) Strategy. It will improve the knowledge and practice of families and care givers on preventable diseases which cause child deaths. The project will address the new and emerging trend of mortality associated with injuries and advocate for implementation of policies on prevention and care of childhood injuries. The project will support the National micronutrient deficiency and prevention strategy to control micronutrient deficiencies especially vitamin D and iron and sustain Universal Salt Iodisation. It will promote reduction of Maternal Mortality Rate nationally and in the western region where the rate is higher than the national average. UNICEF’s contribution will focus on promoting access and utilization of Emergency Obstetric Care services; provide early Antenatal Care (ANC) services and correct iron deficiency anaemia among pregnant mothers and promote exclusive breastfeeding. It will also provide technical assistance in monitoring water quality at community level.
The Basic Education Programme will support improved access to quality early learning opportunities for pre-school children and focus on the development and implementation of early learning and development standards. It will support the enhancement of parenting skills through communication and improve the content and quality of pre-school education through curriculum reform and teacher training to promote child-centred learning. The project will promote inclusiveness by promoting equal opportunities for physically and mentally challenged children and will ensure that children who have dropped-out or are out-of-school, especially among ethnic minorities are given a ‘second chance’.
Using a systems approach, the Child Protection Programme will support the establishment of a national database on child protection for programme planning, monitoring and advocacy purposes. The programme will support the creation of an enabling policy and legal framework for the protection of children from abuse, exploitation and neglect in conformity with international standards and relevant UN protocols and will develop capacities of judges, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and social workers on international norms and practices to address juvenile and children in conflict with the law in a child-friendly manner.
The Convergent Basic Social Services Programme will support the efforts of the Government in institutionalizing the ‘Family Empowerment Strategy’ which will serve as the delivery mechanism of basic services in the country programme focus areas. It will provide technical assistance to strengthen capacities of Regional Development Councils to coordinate and plan for pro-poor essential services for families and children and establish coordination with technical ministries at national level.
The HIV and AIDS Programme will support the National Strategy and the National sub-programme on HIV and AIDS.
The Communication Programme will advocate for a social and legal environment which promotes children’s rights and supports programmes in behaviour change communication.