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UNICEF, Zenith bank partner for children's welfare

Zenith and UNICEF partnership
© UNICEF Nigeria/2008/Tayo
Mr. Godwin Emefiele (L), Deputy Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc presenting Zenith Bank's N12m donation to UNICEF at the launch of the UNICEF/Zenith bank partnership which took place on the Day of the African Child.

Lagos, 16 June 2008 - The United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) fundraising and public advocacy on behalf of children in Nigeria today received a major private sector boost with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Zenith Bank to raise funds for its interventions in the realisation of children’s rights in Nigeria. The funds raised will be used for UNICEF’s programmes in child survival, protection, development and participation, as guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Child’s Rights Act.

The United Nations Children’s Fund is mandated to further the rights and improve the lives of children in over 160 countries worldwide.  However, it receives no funding from the United Nations but has to raise all its income from Governments, International Funds and Programmes and the Private Sector every year. Nigeria is one of UNICEF’s largest programmes in the world.

The partnership will allow the general public make donations to this scheme through Zenith Bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), its website and other available electronic means. Also, it allows UNICEF to add material/inserts to mailings the bank sends to its customers (such as bank statements etc.) inviting them to make one-off or regular donations to UNICEF via Zenith Bank.

As a sign of goodwill and commitment to the cause of Nigerian children, Zenith Bank will make a donation of $100,000 this year to UNICEF regardless of the amount of funds customers donate.

“Children are the future of Nigeria, to this end Zenith Bank is committed to ensuring their survival and well being by acting as a trusted and reliable medium through which the public can make donations for UNICEF Nigeria programmes and advocacy for children’s rights”, said Mr. Jim Ovia, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank.

This partnership will be for an initial period of 2 years after which it will be reviewed for possible extension.

“This is a major break through for the mobilization of local funds for UNICEF’s work in Nigeria and it is being launched appropriately during the Day of the African Child. Until now the responsibility of funding for child survival, development and protection programme interventions has largely been borne by government, bilateral agencies and international development partners. This is a welcome development and the Nigerian child is happier for it”, said Dr. Robert Limlim, Acting UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

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