UNICEF ZEROawards programme launched in Kon Tum
Kon Tum, 25 February 2014 – Children in Kon Tum will directly benefit from UNICEF ZEROawards donor support through an integrated programme launched today by the local Provincial People’s Committee and UNICEF. The USD250,000 in programme funding was taken from the first UNICEF Viet Nam ZEROawards Gala fundraiser held in December last year that raised more than USD400,000 for children in Viet Nam. The remainder of the raised funds will be used for UNICEF-supported programmes in other provinces of Viet Nam.
The Central Highlands province was selected as a donor recipient because it faces numerous challenges in providing care and support for its children. To underscore these challenges, its mortality rate for children aged under five is twice that of the national average and more than 40 per cent of children suffer from malnutrition. Children affected by AIDS and those orphaned, disabled, abused or neglected struggle to access specialized assistance from Viet Nam’s limited social protection system, while child marriage, low access and poor quality education remain pressing issues. At a provincial level, 40 per cent of people do not have access to clean water and only one-third have access to hygienic latrines.
To address these issues, UNICEF has been working closely with Kon Tum authorities since 2007 to save and improve children’s lives through specialized child protection, education, governance, health, nutrition, water and sanitation and social policy programmes. “This generous donation from UNICEF’s ZEROawards donors will help us boost interventions expected to have an impact on at least 50,000 children in Kon Tum,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Viet Nam Representative.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Kon Tum Provincial People’s Committee Vice Chair Le Thi Kim Don applauded UNICEF’s support on issues related to children. “We fully support UNICEF in its new approach to engage business community partners to attract more funds for children-focused programmes. Kon Tum province commits to use its resources together with UNICEF and the business community to work towards ZERO goals,” she said.
Prior to the programme’s launch, donors visited UNICEF’s Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition Programme, present at commune, district and provincial levels. The donors also visited households with malnourished children to learn about their situation and how the programme helped them recover. “This is a remarkable experience. From what we have seen here, I think there is a lot more we can do to help children here overcome their challenges,” said Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, CEO of REE Corporation and a key UNICEF ZEROawards donor.
Actor Xuan Bac also participated in the field visit and the launching ceremony. “As a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF Viet Nam, I will work harder to be a stronger voice for children in Viet Nam so more people know about their situation and join hands to help reach the goal of ZERO children dying from preventable causes,” he said.
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Ms. Mai Thanh presents a symbolic cheque to Kon tum province on behalf of UNICEF ZEROawards donors
Ms. Mai Thanh talks to children in Kon Tum
UNICEF ZEROawards donors takes photos with children in Kon Tum