Investing in children is the roadmap for sustainable future: UNICEF Executive Director

DUBAI, Investing in children is a major path to achieving sustainable development in climate change, health care, and wellbeing, according to Catherine Russell, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Speaking at the World Government Summit WGS2022 in the session “Investing in Children: A Roadmap for Sustainable Future”, she said, “Investing and scaling up proven interventions and strengthening essential systems saves children’s lives. It changes children’s lives positively as well as it improves their societies, reducing inequity and spurring prosperity for all.”

Russell highlighted that more than 426 million children now need to live in safe zones more than any other time in UNICEF’s 75-year history globally and require enhancing their wellbeing. Children get affected by climate change as well over the last 30 years. Approximately one billion children live in countries classified as high countries in causing climate change.

“Children have to be raised in wealthy situations. We want to carry 100 million children out of poverty and child labor,” she said. Russell added that a global learning challenge during the pandemic has seen 147 million children require enhancing their educational tools and learning classes ways over the past two years, amounting to two trillion hours of those children’s education globally.

“The challenge of the pandemic impact on schools and education could affect US$17 trillion less in the income for this entire generation of children. Governments around the world should put that challenge in their top priorities to solve and improve to ensure a better future for the next generations.” Russell said. She cited for urgent investment in education is required and called for scaled-up investments in social protection programs to ensure their safety and well education.

In terms of healthcare in 2020, an additional 23 million children had challenges in receiving essential vaccinations to protect their lives and ensure their healthy development. Future depends on children to complete the journey and that put the responsibility on the government to have a healthy generation that can build a better healthy future for them and the next decades.

Russell called global leaders to seize the moment to drive greater investment in essential, proven and cost-effective child systems, stronger parent primary health services, and the restoration of routine immunisations, as well as expanded nutrition programs. Russell concluded, “Investing in children is the most strategic thing to do.”

Source: Emirates News