‘Poverty, a debilitating factor for millions of minors’ – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper

'Poverty, a debilitating factor for millions of minors' - The Himalayan Times - Nepal's No.1 English Daily Newspaper

https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/poverty-a-debilitating-factor-for-millions-of-minors

KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 10

Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal has praised the UNICEF for its tremendous contribution to saving children’s lives, helping them unleash their potential, and defending their rights across the world.

“UNICEF’s work in the South Asia too has yielded some remarkable results.

Thanks to its collaboration with governments, non-government organisations, and communities, important strides have been taken in reducing neo-natal deaths, improving nutrition, scaling up school enrolment, and promoting sanitation and hygiene practices,” he said at the event organised to mark the 75th anniversary of UNICEF here today.

According to Secretary Paudyal, poverty has been the most debilitating factor for the millions of children in South Asia. Discrimination and incidences of violence against them are yet to go away.

We need to deploy further efforts to prevent the children from being exposed to malnutrition, child labour and child trafficking.

And, we must ensure that millions of children from vulnerable communities are not deprived of basic education and health services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the education, recreation, and healthy development of the children. As the report ‘Lives Upended’ published by UNICEF last year suggests, the pandemic has had disastrous and disproportionate impact on over 600 million children in South Asia.

The crisis appears to be risking the hard-earned progress made in the overall development of children and adolescents.

“We must therefore endeavour to cushion the impact of the pandemic on their well-being, especially with a focus on the most vulnerable ones. Access to COVID-19 vaccines must be ensured for all children.

We must act now to prevent and mitigate the risks the children face. Their needs must come first in our plans to recover and rebuild better,” he suggested.

“Reigniting opportunities for children must start with our endeavour towards creating a condition where they have equal opportunities, where their voices and rights are ensured, and where investments are made not just to help them survive but also thrive.

There is an urgent need to expand and transform education and learning systems. These systems have to be adjusted to lifelong learning for the children of today and adults of tomorrow to enable them stay relevant to the changing techno-professional environment of the future,” he added.

Paudyal also stressed the need to ensure that ‘no child is left behind.’ UNICEF’s support and cooperation has complemented the efforts of the Government of Nepal in addressing the children’s needs.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 11, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.

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