PAKISTAN Annual Report 2007
Forword by Martin Mogwanja, Representative UNICEF Pakistan
As I complete my first year as Country Representative in Pakistan, I am pleased to present this report on the work of UNICEF in partnership with the Government of Pakistan, international development agencies, local partners and many others, and the results achieved. Despite natural disasters, political turmoil and increasing insecurity, 2007 was a year of continuous progress for children and women in Pakistan. Partnerships with the government and civil society were strengthened and yielded success in joint efforts to improve health and nutrition, water and sanitation, child protection, education and other issues relating to the rights of children.
Internally, a Mid-Term Review of the 2004-2008 Country Programme allowed UNICEF and its partners to evaluate our progress since 2004. With few major amendments needed for the Country Programme, we were able to fine-tune our work for the future. For example, following the review, steps were taken to address declining primary school enrolment rates amongst boys by including them in child-friendly school programmes in UNICEF focus districts.
Working with the government at all levels, from the federal to the local, as well as with sister agencies in the United Nations and other partners, UNICEF continued to support efforts to reach unvaccinated children and provide them with protection against measles and polio. Millions of children were protected from these life threatening childhood diseases.Polio cases dropped from 40 in 2006 to 32 in 2007 but the target of zero cases is yet to be achieved. Revitalised health, sanitation and education services in disaster-affected areas served thousands more.
UNICEF Pakistan participated in two emergency interventions during the year. The first was the ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction programme following the 2005 earthquake. The second was in reaction to severe flooding in the southern provinces in June 2007. Flood relief efforts, coordinated by the newly-formed National Disaster Management Authority, were greatly aided by generous donor support and pre-existing emergency relief response coordination and available supplies from the 2005 earthquake response programme. The success of flood relief efforts proved to be a learning experience for UNICEF and its partners, especially regarding the importance of prompt and effective assessment of the affected populations.
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is an important tool to discover gaps and needs of women and children at the district level. Surveys were supported in Punjab Province, Pakistan-Administered Kashmir, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and will be carried out in the North West Frontier Province in 2008.
UNICEF's programmes for children and women continued to be implemented in the face of political turmoil throughout the country, but especially in the north-western regions bordering Afghanistan. Increasing militancy and turmoil caused some limited disruptions in operations. Two field offices had to be closed for short periods, while in some areas lack of correct information led to refusals of polio immunisation, and even killings of vaccinators.
With elections scheduled early in 2008, frequent suicide attacks and security operations underway in the north-west, a degree of uncertainty are likely to remain through 2008. After the elections, the installation of a new government will be a focus of UNICEF advocacy efforts to develop new government policies on child protection and water and sanitation. In 2008, the International Year of Sanitation, UNICEF will concentrate its efforts to help all Pakistani children and adults benefit from improved sanitation.
In 2008, the International Year of Sanitation, UNICEF will concentrate its efforts to help all Pakistani children and adults benefit from improved sanitation. To this end, in 2008 we are concentrating on drafting and implementing nation-wide standards on safe water, encouraging families to build latrines in their home and to practice crucial hygiene behaviours such as washing hands after using the latrine and before eating.
UNICEF in Pakistan is also working with sister UN agencies on the One UN Programme. UNICEF is currently co-chairing three thematic working groups (Education, Health and Population, and Environment), chairing the Human Resources working group, convening the Monitoring and Evaluation network and participating in two additional thematic working groups (Disaster Management; and Agriculture, Rural Development and Poverty Reduction). As of the end of 2007, the grounds had been laid to define joint programmes for the UN System in Pakistan covering the period 2008-2010.
For UNICEF staff, 2007 was a year of learning and development. Coordinating in natural disasters, operating in insecure environments and helping millions of children access essential services provided vital lessons for the years to come. Our continuing work would not be possible without the support of our partners, the government and the communities for the women and children of Pakistan. On behalf of UNICEF staff, therefore, I would like to thank them for their help in our common efforts to create an environment that enables all Pakistani children, boys and girls alike, to live healthy and productive lives, and contribute to the well-being of their communities, their nation and their world.
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