An investment in the future
Partners discuss the way to boost Early Childhood Development in Azerbaijan
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BAKU, 1 July 2022 – Government officials from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Heath, The State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population, the Office of Ombudsman, the State Agency for Mandatory Health Insurance, the Management Union of Medical Territorial Units (TABIB), and Social Services Agency, as well as national experts, and civil society representatives met today to review and discuss the early childhood development roadmap created by UNICEF 's international expert.
An integrated early childhood development roadmap presented at the workshop proposes a comprehensive strategy that highlights the role of different sectors in scaling up early childhood interventions through stronger coordination mechanisms.
Early childhood development is a cross-cutting area that plays a critical role in children's healthy development and growth. UNICEF Azerbaijan started work on early childhood development in 2018 to support the country's long-term human capital development through its pilot programme, "Integrated Social Services for the most vulnerable children," in partnership and with the financial support of the European Union.
We welcome the efforts of the Government of Azerbaijan, as well as national and international partners, to support early and crucial years of a child's life," said UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Alex Heikens. "We believe the time has come for Azerbaijan to move from stand-alone sectoral interventions on ECD towards effective cross-sectoral coordination and development of a comprehensive package of interventions which in the long run will benefit children, their families and communities.”
International ECD Conference, organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Regional Development Public Union with the financial support of the European Union in June, called for increased political and financial commitment for early and crucial years in a child's life. The Conference resulted in the announcement of a Joint Declaration calling for a national roll-out of the ECD, developing a roadmap of further actions, and creating a working group that will champion the cause across different government sectors.