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New UNICEF Representative Aida Girma-Melaku Presents Credentials to the Foreign Minister

Islamabad – 12 April, 2018: The new UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Aida Girma-Melaku, met the Foreign Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, and presented her credentials. She recently arrived in the country and assumed charge of UNICEF’s multi-sectoral operation in education, health, nutrition, child protection, water and sanitation, as well as polio eradication.  


UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Ms. Aida Girma-Melaku presenting her credentials to Mr. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Foreign Minster, Pakistan -- © UNICEF/PAKISTAN/Sami Malik

The Foreign Minister welcomed Ms. Girma-Melaku and appreciated UNICEF’s continued support to Pakistan’s National Development Programme, especially in the context of improving social indicators pertaining to children and women in the country. 

The Foreign Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, said that polio eradication, reduction in child mortality and addressing similar social issues are common priorities for the Government of Pakistan and UNICEF. He assured Ms. Girma-Melaku of all his support in UNICEF’s pursuit of its mandate in the country. 

Ms. Girma-Melaku commended the Government on its efforts and achievements to-date in reducing maternal and child mortality. She emphasized the need to further strengthen routine immunization and improve access to basic health services, especially for marginalized communities in hard to reach areas. 

Referring to the tireless efforts of hundreds of thousands of frontline polio workers, Ms. Girma-Melaku praised the government-led Polio Eradication Initiative for edging ever close to a polio-free Pakistan.    

She apprised the Minister of UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to reduce neonatal mortality which will also help sustain the gains by the polio eradication programme. She mentioned that UNICEF’s support to the federal and provincial governments in enrolling out-of-school children has borne positive results but a large number of children still remain out of school.

Ms. Girma-Melaku brings with her nearly 30 years of experience focusing on planning, leading and managing complex development and humanitarian assistance programmes.

She joined UNICEF in 1991 and has since worked in various capacities. In addition to being UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda, Malawi and South Africa, Ms. Girma-Melaku also served as Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Mozambique and Somalia.  

Originally from Ethiopia, Ms. Girma-Melaku is a naturalized citizen of Italy. She holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics and a Certificate in Management and Financing of Health Programmes in Developing Countries from Harvard University, USA, amongst other qualifications.  

About UNICEF
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. 

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For further information, please contact
A. Sami Malik
OIC Advocacy & Communications, UNICEF Pakistan 
Phone: +92 300 855 6654 | Email: asmalik@unicef.org

 

 
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