Sweden and UNICEF continue strategic partnership in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to reach the most vulnerable children, adolescents and families
Sarajevo, 21.05.2020.: H.E. Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Dr Rownak Khan, UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina Representative, signed an agreement to the value of SEK 4.3 million (approximately EUR 408,000). The Swedish funds will be used by UNICEF to support social protection, child protection and adolescent’s development and participation.
The socio-economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic is negatively affecting children, adolescents and young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This support from Sweden will enable UNICEF not only to respond to the current crisis but also to recover and protect children, young people and families from its aftermath.
While access to essential services like health and education have already been compromised, the risks of violence and psychosocial impact are likely to intensify further, especially for vulnerable children. The true nature of the socio-economic impact is yet to be determined, however, as in all other crises, the most vulnerable people are becoming even more excluded.
“There is a risk that the current crisis will affect the socio-economically already most vulnerable children, young people and families more severely than others both immediately and more long-term. This support will enable UNICEF to provide them with support and social protection and inclusion services together with local partners.”, said H.E. Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Thanks to the support of Sweden, UNICEF will be able to reach at least 1,500 families with children, providing them with community-based mental health and psychosocial support. In addition, 500 professionals from centres for social work and schools will be empowered to provide virtual crisis interventions to those in need. Also, 150 most vulnerable families with children will benefit from social protection and inclusion services. In addition, the learning programme for adolescents “PODIUM” will be digitalized and will empower young people to develop their capacities for advocacy and community participation.
“UNICEF and Sweden have successfully partnered to ensure rights of most vulnerable children in this country. This contribution will further allow UNICEF to deliver timely and effective assistance to the most vulnerable children, young people and families in partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, NGOs and communities.”, said Dr Rownak Khan, UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This agreement is a continuation of the successful collaboration of UNICEF and Sweden, a strategic partner of UNICEF in the Justice for Children Programme for a number of years, and one of the key donors supporting interventions aimed at the empowerment of young people and adolescents.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.