Permanent Representative of Bangladesh and Executive Board President of UNICEF Ambassador Rabab Fatima said, the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on essential services and regular programmes for the children is a matter of serious concern and they cannot allow the pandemic to become a children’s crisis.
She was addressing the opening segment of the Second Regular Session of the UNICEF Board in New York on Tuesday.
She stressed on the importance of creative thinking and innovative solutions to adapt their programmes and close collaboration with other agencies for tackling this unprecedented crisis.
She called upon the UNICEF to make access to online and distance learning a top priority now in line with the thematic focus on education of the country programme documents during this session.
Putting to the fore the success stories of initiatives such as GIGA, launched by UNICEF and ITU to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, she urged upon partners to contribute to this noble cause with their expertise and funding.
Underscoring that girls are at particular risk in Covid-19, she called for more investment in girls’ education for ensuring “their advancement; their dignity; and protecting them from exploitation”.
She highlighted the importance of unlocking full potentials of women and girls by removing different barriers including gender-based violence and discrimination, lack of awareness and facilities of menstrual health and hygiene etc. She also emphasized the importance of drowning prevention.
The Opening Session was addressed, among others, by Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director who gave a comprehensive overview of the works of, as well as the challenges faced by, the UNICEF. This was followed by country statements from Permanent Representatives and delegates from member states across the world.