Pakistan seeks UNICEF’s help in reopening, upgrading schools in flood-stricken areas

Ambassador Munir Akram pays rich tributes to Quaid's sterling leadership
Ambassador Munir Akram pays rich tributes to Quaid's sterling leadership

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 08 (APP): Pakistan has urged the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, for help in re-opening schools in old and new temporary locations in flood-devastated areas, as the UN agency’s executive board adopted a $900 million, 4-year (2023 to 2027) country programme aimed at the uplift of the country’s 80 million children.

Speaking at the board’s meting, Ambassador Munir Akram also sought assistance in healthcare-prevention of water-borne and communicable diseases and immunization of children; and ensuring food security by providing nutrition for children with the view to provide relief.

The Pakistani envoy said the on-going massive flood in Pakistan was a manifestation of the country’s vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, pointing out that of the 33 million affected people, millions of children were in urgent need of health services, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation as well as education.

“We hope that UNICEF together with the Government will not only provide emergency supplies, but also contribute actively for the rehabilitation of millions of children.”

Pakistan, he said, confronts challenges in providing the basic needs for development, including for its children, as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate-induced disasters, including the recent epic floods, spiraling food and energy prices and security challenges have constrained its ability to respond to the goals of ensuring the nutritional, health, education and other needs of the children, particularly the most disadvantaged among them.

Ambassador Akram also underscored the need for opening new schools, strengthening the infrastructure of existing schools and developing digital platforms for e-learning to ensure that around 20 million out-of-school are able to attend school.

In this regard, he said UNICEF should work with the government to meet the nutritional needs of children for their optimal growth and development.

Pakistan will also with UNICEF to end all forms of violence against children so that they can live in safety and with dignity, Ambassador Akram said.

Noting that of the total US$ 900 million allocated for the Country Programme, only
US$190 million is earmarked through regular resources, while US$ 725 million is to be secured from other resources, he hoped UNICEF will be able to secure the required funding to ensure the full implementation of the identified programme priorities.