Manila, – The UNICEF and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday renewed their commitment to fighting poverty and promoting the well-being of children and youths in Asia and the Pacific.
The two organisations made their commitment public in a memorandum of understanding signed in Bali.
Under the new five-year agreement, the two organisations pledged to work together to increase access for disadvantaged children, young people and women to quality services.
The services include health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, early childhood development, education, child protection and climate change.
“Children and young people living in urban slums and underserved rural communities across the Asia and Pacific region are deprived of the quality health.
”They are also deprived of quality education, and training opportunities that could help lift them out of poverty,” Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF said.
Through this agreement, Fore said that UNICEF and the ADB “will help put the children on the path to a better future and their countries on the road to sustainable development.”
In South Asia, 36 per cent of under-five children are stunted, and around 40 per cent of children are out of secondary school in several countries in Asia and the Pacific.
Under the agreement, ADB and UNICEF will enhance their collaboration in ADB developing member countries in key areas, including policy dialogue, research, advocacy, and innovations.
Others are innovative financing solutions such as blended finance, and enhanced public-private partnerships; knowledge sharing and staff development; collaboration in humanitarian and fragility situations affecting children and adolescents.
The Manila-based bank said the agreement builds on years of ongoing collaboration between the two organisations.
It said ADB and UNICEF are helping to strengthen health systems in countries like Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam by adopting technologies to enable the exchange of interoperable health information, currently caught up in the data silos of various agencies.
“The two organisations are also working together in the Pacific to introduce new vaccines against diarrhea, respiratory infection, and cervical cancer, using pooled procurement that enables better prices,’’ the ADB said.