Germany‘s First Lady Elke Büdenbender visits UNICEF-programmes in Nepal

Elke Büdenbender, Patroness of UNICEF Germany and wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany visits UNICEF programmes in Nepal from 3 to 7 February 2020

10 February 2020
Germany's first lady with children
UNICEF Nepal/2020/LPNgakhusi

Elke Büdenbender, Patroness of UNICEF Germany and wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, visited UNICEF programmes in Nepal from 3 to 7 February 2020. Notwithstanding many structural challenges such as access to healthcare and education, widespread poverty and high vulnerability to natural disasters, the country has made huge strides in advancing child rights and is strongly committed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Georg Graf Waldersee, Chair of the German National Committee for UNICEF, will join Elke Büdenbender on her visit.

"Together with UNICEF, I have come to Nepal to draw attention to the importance of improving the lives of children and advancing their rights. Sustainable development, towards which Germany has committed itself alongside the international community, cannot be achieved without realising child rights,“ said Elke Büdenbender at the beginning of her visit.

Whilst in Nepal, the Patroness of UNICEF Germany learned more about the situation facing children and the support UNICEF is providing to create sustainable solutions for children. Elke Büdenbender met girls and boys in schools, youth clubs and communities to find out more about the way they cope with daily challenges. She also familiarized herself with efforts aimed at strengthening the resilience of communities in mitigating the impact of natural disasters.

Nepal was one of the first countries to produce a national report on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. According to UNICEF, concerted action towards realizing child rights is urgently needed to achieve the global goals.

Despite much progress, many children and young people still lack access to water, healthcare, good nutrition and schools. Attendance in basic education is still low with 770,000 children aged 5 to 12 years being out of school. Two in five women have married before the age of 18 years and 36 percent of children under 5 years live in poverty.

For over five decades, UNICEF has been dedicated to advancing the rights of all children in Nepal, especially the most marginalized and disadvantaged. UNICEF Germany supports programmes through "Let us Learn“ for example, an initiative aimed at providing learning opportunities to children.

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