UNICEF chief: China's Belt & Road Initiative also vision for children

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-14 03:43:19|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, June 13 (Xinhua) -- UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said here on Wednesday that the vision of the Belt & Road Initiative is also a vision for children, as China's dramatic progress over the past two decades has also benefitted children.

At a high-level symposium for the Belt & Road Initiative and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UNICEF chief highlighted "the children who are among the 800 million people lifted out of poverty since 1978, and the children who have gained health, nutrition, education and protection in hard-to-reach and remote communities across China."

"For 40 years, UNICEF has been a proud part of China's story," Fore said, adding that together with China, UNICEF has delivered health, education, water and nutrition to vulnerable children.

UNICEF has supported the government's 2008 Sichuan earthquake response, and has joined forces to support the poorest and most disadvantaged children in China and around the world, she added.

"You can find example after example of our work together reflected in the faces of the children in Africa and Asia, who are now getting the health care and nutrition they need, or in the faces of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are gaining an education," she said.

UNICEF believes there is so much more it could do with China, Fore noted.

UNICEF can help China scale up more results quickly, and accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, she said.

Her organization can be a critical partner for China as it extends its Belt & Road Initiative, by offering a presence in 190 countries, deep field experience, strong partnerships with governments and other UN agencies, and expertise in supporting children.

Children's education, cognitive capital, health, protection and safety matter to all of us, she said, calling for joint efforts to give a new generation the skills they need to build better futures for themselves and their societies.

The Belt & Road Initiative is an opportunity to do this like never before and multiply our impact in a number of areas -- child survival, nutrition, development and protection, with a special emphasis on fighting child poverty, Fore said.

UNICEF invites China to tap into UNICEF's expertise in program design and delivery, and its systems for program and financial monitoring and oversight, she said.

The Belt & Road initiative is also an opportunity to dramatically expand South-South cooperation, for countries to learn from one another, scale up what works, and ultimately achieve more impact and more results around the world, she said.

The initiative is about investing in more than infrastructure and investing in the people that infrastructure will serve, today and tomorrow, Fore said.

The high-level symposium is jointly sponsored by the Chinese mission to the United Nations, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Program.