The regional headlines

Headline targets to improve the life of every child in East Asia & Pacific

A newborn baby in Fiji
UNICEF/UN0159524/Chute

Results for every child

East Asia and the Pacific contains some of the world’s fastest growing economies and is home to the second highest number of ‘innovative economies’ in the world. However, the pace of change, innovation and technology-driven growth is also contributing to high or widening inequities.

In today’s Asia, the winners are those who are well-nourished and are confident and intellectually equipped to participate in the higher value-add segments of the economy; those who are resilient against life threatening diseases and are able to take advantage of opportunities when they arise; and those who receive relevant quality education that allows them to compete for high-skill employment.

UNICEF East Asia & Pacific is committed to supporting governments and other duty bearers to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for children. To this end, the organization has unveiled three Regional Headlines for East Asia & Pacific that embody its contributions to the SDGs in full alignment with its 2018–2021 Strategic Plan goals.

A baby in Indonesia

Early moments matter

A child whose brain does not develop properly may not learn as well or earn as much. Not developing to her full potential hurts both her and society.

Angeline Chong (centre), a student at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Subang Jaya school, chats with friends in Malaysia

Adolescents’ potential unleashed

With over 60 per cent of the worlds’ youth living in the larger Asia Pacific region, supporting this age group is critical to unleashing their - and the region’s - potential. 

Taronga, 16, holds her two-year-old sister Teaborenga while standing in a flooded area in the village in Kiribati

Children grow up in a safe and sustainable environments

Rapid urbanisation, burgeoning megacities and climate change are among the biggest challenges impacting the development of young people today. 

The headlines - a closer look

Avalon and her 6-year-old son Caleb holding one of the twin sisters Tina in Fiji

Early moments matter: Asia’s most successful countries will be those whose decision makers recognize that achieving the equitable and sustained growth captured by SDG 8 requires investments to nurture and protect children’s cognitive capital. Optimizing children’s capabilities requires supporting mothers and caregivers through the prenatal period and ensuring that children survive and receive the care and services they need during the first 1,000 days and indeed over the child’s first decade of life to thrive. UNICEF can make a significant contribution to efforts on: 1) Maternal, new-born and child healthcare services; 2) Preventive and curative nutrition services; 3) Positive parenting; 4) ECD; 5) Quality learning in and out of school; 6) Multi-dimensional child poverty and social protection.

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Adolescents' potential unleashed: With over 60 per cent of the worlds’ youth living in the larger Asia Pacific region, supporting this age group to interact with and adapt to a rapidly changing world, develop creative and critical thinking skills and fostering ideals of responsible global citizenship are all critical to unleashing their potential. UNICEF will contribute to efforts on: 1) Adolescent learning outcomes; 2) Gender responsive adolescent health and nutrition; 3) Prevention and protection from violence; 4) Child pregnancies and child marriage; 5) Safe spaces for participation, creativity and self-expression; 6) Safe access to and responsible use of ICT.

A first-grade student walks several kilometres to her home after school in the district of Altai in Mongolia through thick snow

Safe & sustainable environments: Girls and boys in the EAP region live in one of the most dynamic parts of the globe, but they are constantly confronted with shocks and stresses that threaten their development. EAP is the most disaster- affected region in the world and the impacts of climate change are taking an added toll on livelihoods of vulnerable families. Rapid rates of urbanization are offering new opportunities while also exacerbating these vulnerabilities, posing new health risks and challenges for delivering adequate infrastructure and basic services; mitigating congestion and air pollution, and promoting social cohesion. UNICEF will contribute to efforts on: 1) Urban inequities; 2) Access to justice; 3) Safe drinking water and basic sanitation; 4) Indoor and ambient pollution; 5) Children and adolescent participation in climate action; 6) DRR and social cohesion.