UNICEF, KOICA ink US$39 mln grant deal to help children in Pacific, African countries

SEOUL, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed a US$39 million grant agreement with South Korea’s state aid agency Tuesday to provide social services, like health care and education, to vulnerable children in the Pacific and African regions, UNESCO Seoul liaison office said.

Under the three-year partnership, the South Korean government will provide the grant through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to help develop access to essential services and supplies for children.

Of the fund, $29 million is allocated to the East Asia and Pacific regions, with the remaining $10 million to go to the eastern and southern Africa regions.

The beneficiary countries are: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste in East Asia Pacific; and Comoros and Zimbabwe in Africa.

A signing ceremony for the partnership took place in Bali, Indonesia.

The program aims to provide the assistance to children living in the regions exposed to risks of natural disaster due the impact of climate change, t
he UNICEF said.

“KOICA’s climate funding will help to build community resilience and ensure that children have access to essential services and supplies,” Catherine Russell, UNICEF executive director, said.

“The government of the Republic of Korea, under its vision of a global pivotal state is committed to leading the world on a sustainable path, proactively tackling the climate and environmental crisis head-on,” Sohn Jung-mee, vice president at KOICA, said.

According to UNICEF, the two regions show the likelihood of children experiencing an estimated six times more climate-related disasters than their grandparents’ generations.

Changing climatic conditions in these regions have compounded environmental degradation, and contributed to increased displacement and migration.

Source: Yonhap News Agency