|The Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, Ambassador Morten Wetland (left), and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake sign a new Programme Cooperation Agreement at UNICEF House in New York.|
By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, USA, 29 November 2010 – One of UNICEF’s most significant donors has reinforced its commitment to the education and rights of children. The Norwegian Government has promised nearly $200 million in 2010-2011 to continue its longstanding support for UNICEF’s work, particularly in the area of girls’ education.
Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations Morten Wetland and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake signed the Programme Cooperation Agreement at UNICEF House this morning.
Education for all
Most of the funds will go to ensuring that more children have access to a quality education – and that education is restored as quickly as possible after emergencies around the world.
“Every child has a right to education. We must not forget that this includes girls,” said Norway’s Minister for the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim.
|Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN Morten Wetland and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake shake hands after signing the new Programme Cooperation Agreement.|
“Giving girls the chance to learn to read and write not only increases their opportunities in life but also makes them more likely to be educated mothers, care better for their children and have a better chance to break out of the cycle of poverty,” he added.
Since 2005, UNICEF and Norway have been working towards Millennium Development Goal 2, which calls for access to primary education for all children.
“Norway’s remarkable commitment to education will not only help more children go to school,” said Mr. Lake. “It will help more girls stay in school and make the most of their potential.”
Norway contributes $45 per year on behalf of every Norwegian citizen, making the country UNICEF’s largest per-capita donor. Overall, it donates nearly $199 million every year as UNICEF’s second largest donor and the largest supporter of the agency’s education programmes.
At the signing of the cooperation agreement today, Mr Lake praised the government and people of Norway for their consistent support of UNICEF’s goals. “If there were more Norways, the world would be a better place,” he said.