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UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Arrives in Pakistan

Islamabad, 19 May 2008: The UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Daniel Toole, has arrived for his first official tour of Pakistan on Monday. His visit has three primary objectives: to familiarise himself with the situation of women and children in the country, to establish a strong relationship with the newly elected government; and to assess progress on United Nations reform.

During his four-day visit, Mr Toole will meet senior officials in the Government of Pakistan, NGO partners, the donor community and the United Nations country team to discuss issues affecting women and children in the country, and how programmes and collaboration can be strengthened. He is planning to visit project sites to monitor UNICEF-supported activities and meet the children that have benefited.

Mr Toole will also address a seminar for NWFP parliamentarians on the UNICEF global experience of applying the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in adverse conditions of poverty, insecurity and marginalisation.

"The welfare of Pakistan's children is the welfare of Pakistan's future," said Martin Mogwanja, the UNICEF Country Representative. "The Regional Director’s visit to Pakistan is a great opportunity for us to assess the situation of the children and women we seek to support, create strong working relationships with the new government and other partners, and to brainstorm on how to improve our work together."

Mr Toole was appointed Regional Director for South Asia in December 2007 and is responsible for ensuring overall policy and programme coherence and regional and global advocacy for UNICEF in the region. He has many years of experience in natural disaster and emergency programme management, and has served for four years as Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes at the UNICEF headquarters in New York. He is the co-founder of Acumen Fund, a venture philanthropy investment fund, and has served in various positions at UNICEF, including Chief of Office for the Executive Director of UNICEF and Country Representative in Rwanda where he faced the challenge of directing the post-genocide emergency relief programme.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. In Pakistan and elsewhere, it has provided vital relief and reconstruction support to help individuals rebuild their lives after emergencies. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Antonia Paradela, Communication Officer, UNICEF Pakistan. Tel: 0300 5002595. Email:
Abdul Sami Malik, Communication Officer, UNICEF Pakistan. Tel: 0300 8556654. Email:



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