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Mongolia adopts a National Policy on IECD- the second country in the East Asia and Pacific Region

2005-04-26: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – The Government of Mongolia adopts yet another important policy document that will have a profound positive impact on the growth and development of children.
The National policy on Integrated Early Childhood Development was adopted on 13 April 2005 by a Government resolution. In this way Mongolia becomes the second country in the East Asia and the Pacific region, after the Philippines, to have a national policy on early childhood. (Photo top left shows the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ch. Ulaan, Vice Minister of education Mr. S. Tumur-Ochir and UNICEF Mongolia Representative Mr. Richard Prado, and photo right, Mr. Richard Bridle, UNICEF Deputy regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, at the launch of the IECD Policy)
The current overly liberal practice requires families to cope alone with the survival, healthy growth and development of children 0-3 years and fails to balance, on the one hand, the women’s need for employment and on the other hand, the need to raise and develop healthy and protected children.
At the national level, lack of integrated policy coordination and linkage between the sectoral ministries makes it impossible to address early childhood issues in a holistic manner and to create more effective social services.
Therefore, the Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) policy was adopted jointly by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor.
The IECD policy is not only about supporting child rights and ensuring their preparedness for schooling but is also about contributing to investment in support of human and socio-economic development
The implementation of the Integrated Early Childhood Development policy will promote the creation of child-friendly, multi-dimensional basic social services that aim at meeting the physical, psychosocial and cognitive development needs of 336,000 young children who constitute 14.6% of Mongolia’s total population of 2.4 million.
Mongolia ’s Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy was officially launched in Ulaanbaatar on Wednesday, 26 April 2005.
Early childhood development which embraces the most important stage in human development, covering the period from the time when the baby is conceived up to the age of 7, is not only a duty and responsibility of the family and the parents, but also the duty and responsibility of the Government. This was underlined by Mr. Ch. Ulaan, Member of Parliament, Member of Government and Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia speaking at the launch.
He further indicated that this initiative of the Government of Mongolia and its successful implementation will, hopefully, become an invaluable contribution of the country to implementing the goals and objectives on child development and education as enshrined in the UN Special Session Outcome Document A World Fit for Children, the Education for All Dakar Framework, and the Millennium Development Goals.
And Mr. Richard Bridle, Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF for East Asia and the Pacific, who also attended the launch, congratulated Mongolia on the adoption of the National Policy on IECD noting UNICEF’s readiness to collaborate with the Government in its implementation. He also called on the Government to now embark on a fund-raising campaign to secure resources for the implementation of the policy that will help in fulfilling the full potential of the child from birth and later in life to cope with the ever demanding challenges of life.
“International financial institutions, such as the World Bank, have been active supporters of IECD in the Philippines and I am sure they would also be interested in investing in this very important area here too in Mongolia” said Mr. Richard Bridle.
In conclusion Mr. S. Tumur-Ochir, Vice Minister of Education, Culture and Science said that the policy takes into consideration the specific features of Mongolia and consequently specific means will have to be applied in its implementation too. He underlined that not only the Government but also local NGO’s, the parents, families and all other stakeholders have a stake in the future of the policy since the future of the nation will be decided by how the children will be cared for and developed from their very early years.
For more information and interviews, please contact
Cliff Meyers, Education Adviser, UNICEF EAPRO
Chanrav Burenbayar, Communications Officer, UNICEF Mongolia
Budragchaa Uranchimeg, Project Officer - Education, UNICEF Mongolia
For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 158 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, access to clean water and sanitation, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, businesses, foundations and individuals.



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