World Bank and UNICEF strengthen funding collaboration
By Roshni Karwal
NEW YORK, USA, 4 December 2008 – The World Bank and UNICEF have strengthened their collaborative partnership in an effort to ensure the effective and smooth flow of funds in emergency, conflict and post-conflict situations.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and World Bank Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services Jeff Gutman signed a Fiduciary Principles Accord at UNICEF House in New York this week.
The accord was jointly developed by the World Bank and several other UN agencies, funds and programs. It is part of a new UN/World Bank framework that aims to help the agencies work together more effectively in countries affected by conflict or natural disaster.
‘The leading voice for children’
UNICEF has taken a leadership role in developing the agreement, and the innovative and creative new relationship will serve as a model for other collaborations to improve the circumstances of children around the world.
“UNICEF is the leading voice and advocate for children’s rights and needs worldwide, particularly during emergencies,” said UNICEF Director of Emergency Programs Louis-Georges Arsenault.
“The World Bank is a major financier of national institution-building, economic and social resilience, and recovery in countries vulnerable to natural disaster and conflict,” he added. “We see a clear value in collaborating more closely on emergencies.”
Interagency funding issues
“This agreement will increase the collaboration between UNICEF and World Bank and will increase the speed and effectiveness of funding and programs. It will also help build the capacity of countries themselves to prevent, respond to and recover from emergencies,” said Mr. Arsenault.
In addition to this accord, UNICEF and the World Bank have reached a parallel agreement enabling government partners to use UNICEF procurement services to get supplies and services for World Bank-funded health programs more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
Using a newly-developed standard agreement between UNICEF and governments, that can be used “off the shelf”, quick action can be taken when governments look to UNICEF for support in getting health-related supplies and services. This will reduce transaction costs and increase efficiency and effectiveness in the field.
UNICEF will also contribute to the design of the programs themselves, building upon its technical expertise as well as its procurement and logistics capacity.