- Published: 09.02.2024.
Annual meeting on Croatian Government-UNICEF cooperation
From 2018-2023, the Croatian Government, through cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and UNICEF, has realized important projects for the most vulnerable children in 10 countries. This includes improving learning and play conditions for refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon, humanitarian aid for children in Yemen and Gaza, primary healthcare for children and mothers in Egypt, generators for hospitals, schools and water utilities in Moldova and Ukraine, schools in earthquake-hit areas of Turkey, and access to education for girls in Ethiopia and Kenya, totalling USD 3.5 million.
“We are proud of our partnership with UNICEF, which is aimed at structural and long-term improvements, notably in low- and middle-income countries. This cooperation strategically targets conditions for children and youth, with emphasis on the most vulnerable among them - a crucial part of our wider commitment to human rights. Through our development and humanitarian assistance, Croatia plays an active role in creating solutions that protect the lives of children, allowing them to reach their potential,” Foreign Minister Grlić Radman said.
By cooperating on development assistance, the Croatian Government and UNICEF want to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably in areas of health, education and protection of children. The publication presented at today’s meeting is based on years-long cooperation and will be of use in further exchange of good practices and the expansion of ODA projects focused on children.
“Although our cooperation is largely aimed at supporting children in Croatia, we are also investing in children in some of the most challenging conditions worldwide - every child whose childhood is affected by wars, earthquakes etc. deserves a chance. Thanks to the Croatian Government’s investments through ODA and cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, we have created new life chances for children in refugee camps, earthquake-hit areas and war-torn regions. Together we make the needs of those vulnerable visible and respond to them. We are proud of the fact that our cooperation contributes to the proliferation of development assistance aimed at the most vulnerable children and their families,” underscored Head of UNICEF Croatia, Regina M. Castillo.
The meeting also saw the presentation of the new two-year plan within the 2023-2027 Cooperation Programme, based on which UNICEF will continue to run various programmes for children, adolescents, youth and families in Croatia. This means continued investment in early childhood education and education, quality services for special needs children, quality foster care, support to at-risk families, skills and mental health of children and youth, as well as support to migrant and refugee children and families in Croatia. In the period ahead, UNICEF will also focus on new modern-day areas and challenges that require reconfiguring approaches and solutions, such as preventing obesity in children and promoting healthy eating, and will also relaunch the peer violence prevention programme.