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Netherlands and UNICEF sign agreement to promote birth registration

Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault, Representative UNICEF Bangladesh and Mr. Kees Beemsterboer, Ambassador, Netherlands Minister for Development Co-operation exchange agreement after signing. Mr. Ashoke Madhab Roy, Deputy Secretary, LGD also present.
Dhaka, March 27, 2007: The Netherlands Minister for Development Co-operation and UNICEF signed an agreement to support the Government of Bangladesh in promoting a sustainable and functional birth registration system.
Ambassador Kees Beemsterboer, Netherlands Minister for Development Co-operation and UNICEF Representative Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
The agreement was signed to support the Universal Birth Registration in Bangladesh implemented by the Local Government Division of the Bangladesh government and UNICEF. The Dutch government will contribute US$ 3.5 million for two years from January 2007 to 31 December 2009.
“The Ministry of Local Government of Bangladesh in partnership with the UNICEF is going to strengthen the system and capacity for the implementation of effective birth registration across the country”, said Mr Beemsterboer. He added that as an active promoter of child rights, the Netherlands has decided to support the Universal Birth Registration in Bangladesh project of UNICEF for a total amount of USD 3.5 million.
The Netherlands policies in International Development Cooperation attach great importance in promoting human security and human rights with a strong focus on child rights.
“Every child has the right to be registered and the right to have a name. These are rights that all children should enjoy and they are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In Bangladesh as only about 10 per cent of children are registered so this push for Universal Birth Registration is of the utmost importance,” said Mr Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh.
The project will contribute to the implementation of the inter-sectoral strategy along with supporting the establishment of a sustainable and functional birth registration system. During the first priority phase, 90% of primary and secondary level students and 95% of 0-1 year old children will be covered , which is 25%of the total population.
The main activities include orientation sessions to key duty-bearers, supply of administrative materials to the relevant registration offices and an awareness campaign for general public.
The Government of Bangladesh has adopted a Universal Birth Registration strategy in 2006 which provides free registration for the following two years, aiming at registering all by 2008.

For more information:
UNICEF contact:
Arifa S. Sharmin
Communication Officer, UNICEF, Dhaka
+8802 9336701-10/Ext. 442



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