Supporting the Government for the realization of children's rights in Niger
The new UNICEF Representative, Mr. Stefano Savi, officially took office in Niger
NIAMEY (Niger), 22 July 2021 - The new UNICEF Representative in Niger, Mr. Stefano Savi, presented the copy of his credential letter today to His Excellency Mr. Hassoumi Massoudou, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He took this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of UNICEF to support the Government in its efforts to promote and protect the rights of the child in Niger.
"Niger has made significant progress in advancing children's rights - despite the recurring and simultaneous emergencies the country is facing. UNICEF is standing with the Government to accelerate these efforts," said Stefano Savi, during this meeting. "UNICEF welcomes the personal commitment of the President of the Republic to make the education of children a top priority for Niger."
"Niger is a country full of potential. The country has the youngest population in the world. It is imperative to maximize opportunities for children and to invest in human capital. By doing so, we can transform the futures of Niger, families, and generations whose dreams are only matched by their will to achieve them,” he said.
UNICEF will continue its upstream work to support the Government to create a national legislative and policy environment that promotes children's rights. We will also sustain our support to downstream work by prioritizing the geographic areas where the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and populations live and are less well served by basic social services."
"Malnutrition continues to pose a major threat to the health and development of children in Niger," he said. Despite recent efforts, the rates and burden of severe acute malnutrition remain extremely high in the country. It is estimated that 2.2 million people are in need of nutritional assistance in the country and that more than 1.6 million children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition.
“To tackle malnutrition, we know that we have to invest in prevention while responding to cases of acute malnutrition. We want to draw attention to the need to focus and invest in prevention as a long-lasting solution, even in the midst of emergency action," he continued.
In Niger, UNICEF’s vision is to help the Government ensure that all children, especially the most vulnerable, enjoy their rights; adolescents and youth are empowered; communities and systems are strengthened and resilient; and humanitarian assistance and development address the structural causes of fragility and vulnerability.
"While being aware of the magnitude of the challenges facing children, we can take advantage of the achievements of recent years to move forward together, by showing solidarity, ambition and confidence in the future" he declared.
Prior to his appointment as UNICEF Representative in Niger, Mr. Stefano Savi led UNICEF programs in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Haiti, and implemented development and emergency programs in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to joining UNICEF in 2006, Mr. Savi served as Director of the international organizations COOPI and Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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/niger