UNITED NATIONS, Oct 24 (APP): The International Cricket Council (ICC) and UNICEF Friday announced a five-year partnership to advocate on behalf of the world’s most disadvantaged children.
A UNICEF press release said every year 5.9 million children die before their fifth birthday from mostly preventable causes; over half a billion children live in extreme poverty; and 59 million primary school-aged children do not go to school.
The partnership aims to raise awareness of these challenges and encourage cricket fans to speak out for the children whose lives are these statistics, it said.
An initial focus will be to improve sanitation in India, which has the largest number of people still defecating in the open: more than 595 million, the press release said.
Poor sanitation can cause diarrhoea, which accounts for 9 per cent of the 1.2 million under-five deaths each year in India.
The partnership will also engage with children and young people to inspire them to take up sport.
ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson said “Investing in initiatives that will improve the health, education, nutrition, protection and sanitation of children is so important to the lives of us all and we are proud to work with UNICEF in bringing these projects to life. ICC and UNICEF together will engage the broader cricketing community in work to empower children and adolescents and will, in particular, during the many ICC Events over the next five years, develop and implement various community outreach programmes and initiatives in collaboration with coaches, cricketers and cricketing personalities.”
“Our new partnership will brighten a spotlight on the challenges children face, like hunger, poor sanitation and lack of education, and help transform awareness into action,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said.
“We are harnessing the power and reach of one of the world’s most popular sports behind the most important cause of all: the lives and futures of children.”