Influencing markets

Access to affordable and fit-for-purpose products from sustainable markets is essential for the survival and development of children.

Margaret Agyapong, (6) in the bedroom where she and her siblings sleep under a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net (LLI) in the village of Ankaase in the Western Region of Ghana, in October 2012.

The challenge

Balancing demand and supply in markets to deliver equitable, sustainable access to products and services that improve children’s lives

Millions of children lack access to basic solutions in health, nutrition, water and sanitation that can easily be made available, especially in poor and marginalized communities.

Worldwide, preventable birth complications, acute respiratory infections and diarrhoea are some of the leading causes of death for children under five years old. This is mostly because products and services such as vaccines, medicines, clean water and appropriate sanitation are out of reach for these children. At other times, the solutions that are available are limited or non-existent at the required quality and price point.

We can change this together by reducing market barriers and constraints for existing and future products, and by nurturing a healthy balance between demand and supply to improve access to essential products and services for every child.

The solution

UNICEF and its partners support both local and global actions to encourage markets to better serve children. This work includes:

  • activating and stimulating demand for a diverse range of products and services that are appropriate for different contexts;
  • engaging with new suppliers and encouraging them to enter the market and meet demand;
  • procuring supplies at sustainable prices where they are needed most; and
  • incentivizing or technically supporting suppliers to innovate and improve solutions.

Ultimately, healthy, vibrant and sustainable markets will enable equitable access to life-saving products and services for every child.

We need to ensure appropriate products are available at an affordable price, with the right quality standards. To do so, markets need to be competitive, sustainable and increasingly close to local communities. We identify and communicate gaps in markets, and we work with the private sector and partners to drive product innovations that meet the needs of children.


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