|Konkiyel Primary School, in Konkiyel, Nigeria, has received school supplies and water and sanitation services through a UNICEF-DFID partnership.|
By Rebecca Zerzan
NEW YORK, USA, 20 July 2012 – More than 12 million children have been vaccinated against preventable diseases, 6 million people have received emergency food assistance, and 5.3 million children have secured schooling.
These are among more than a dozen achievements made by UNICEF’s long-time partner, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), over the last two years.
These successes, enumerated in DFID’s recent annual report, are part of an ambitious set of aid delivery targets set by the British Government.
Reaching millions with measurable results
DFID’s achievements follow reforms to the government’s development agenda made last year to emphasize measurable results and effectiveness.
"For the first time, this government has established systems which allow us to measure and track, in detail, the results which UK aid is achieving,” said Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development.
The department is now focusing on 28 priority countries, with goals including the promotion of open government, the reduction of extreme poverty, improvements in the lives of girls and women, and relief in humanitarian disasters.
|Children sit with their 70-year-old grandmother and caretaker, Rabaa Kuno Adan, in Bulla Iftin Village, Kenya. They receive assistance from the Government’s cash transfer programme for orphans and vulnerable children; the programme is supported by UNICEF, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank and others.|
Over the last two years, DFID aid has resulted in the distribution of 12.2 million mosquito nets to protect families against malaria, improved property rights for 1.1 million people and increased access to financial services to help 11.9 million people emerge from poverty.
In addition, DFID has supported freer and fairer elections in five countries and improvements in hygiene conditions for 7.4 million people.
Reaching children through partnerships
"Over the last two years, aid from Britain has quite simply transformed the lives of millions in the world’s poorest countries," Mr. Mitchell wrote in his forward to the annual report, which was published on 25 June 2012.
Some of these results can be attributed to DFID’s partnership with UNICEF. Between 2011 and 2012, DFID provided £3.4 billion (US$5.3 billion) in funding to multilateral organizations, including United Nations agencies like UNICEF.
In 2011, DFID contributed to UNICEF programmes that reached 350 million children with two doses of vitamin A, which boosts immune functioning and wards off blindness. DFID also contributed to UNICEF humanitarian responses reaching 36 million children around the world.
These efforts – and partnerships – will continue.
“As we look ahead to the next twelve months, I want to see British aid doing even more,” Mr. Mitchell said, “transforming more lives, creating more jobs, stimulating more growth, encouraging more innovation and giving more people a voice in their own future.