UK Government boosts funding for UNICEF to improve children's health and education
NEW YORK, 6 March 2011 – The UK Government will almost double its core funding for UNICEF operations around the world, after a recent aid review found the agency highly effective in delivering results to keep children healthy and ensure access to quality education.
“Nine organizations have been assessed as providing very good value for the British tax payer," said Andrew Mitchell, UK’s Secretary of State for International Development. “UNICEF’s work to keep children healthy and ensure they have access to education enables them to demonstrate the kind of results that the British taxpayer can feel proud to have played a part in achieving.”
The British government’s annual contribution nearly doubled from 21 million pounds ($35.2 million) in 2010/2011 to 40 million pounds ($65.3 million) in 2011/2012; the contribution is to core funding, which are non-earmarked donations allowing for rapid responses and flexibility in delivering assistance on the ground.
The Multilateral Aid Review, commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), assessed if the UK’s contributions to international organizations were yielding maximum results.
The review found that UNICEF was able to demonstrate “impressive results” in helping to tackle child mortality, maternal health issues, education and HIV/AIDS – all of which are closely aligned to the UK Government's aid objectives.
The UK also noted that UNICEF delivers a number of programmes for children in conflict and fragile states. As a result of the aid review the UK Government is looking to expand its work in fragile states, 15 of which are among the 20 poorest in the world.
UNICEF’s Executive Director, Anthony Lake welcomed UK’s assistance to improve the lives of the world's poorest and most vulnerable children.
"UNICEF is deeply grateful to the people of the United Kingdom for their generosity, and we will work hard to earn their continued confidence by delivering results for the children most in need.”
UNICEF has adopted an equity-based strategy focusing on the most vulnerable, to move more quickly and cost-effectively towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. The approach has a potential of averting millions of maternal and child deaths by 2015. In 2009, with UNICEF support, more than 140 million children were immunized against measles – 63 million in integrated campaigns that also distributed 13.3 million doses of de-worming medicine.
UNICEF will use the additional support from the UK Government to strengthen its efforts to further reduce child and maternal deaths by building stronger community-based public health interventions, especially in the poorest and remotest communities. UNICEF will also use this support to get more children into the classroom, improve the quality of education by training more teachers, and making what children learn more relevant to their lives.
The review also found that UNICEF had the potential to become even more effective by improving its leadership in humanitarian emergencies, working more closely with other UN agencies, and demonstrating its impact and efficiency to a greater extent.
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