UNICEF and AGFUND expand partnership with COVID-19 response projects in Yemen and Niger (Two new project agreements will benefit children and communities in hard-to-reach areas).
Riyadh, 27 December 2021 – The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) and UNICEF today signed two new project agreements deepening the 40-year-long partnership between the two organizations. The expanded collaboration comes at a time when COVID-19 continues to affect children at an unprecedented scale and will benefit some of the most marginalized children and communities in Yemen and Niger.
In Yemen, AGFUND’s contribution will allow UNICEF to increase awareness of COVID-19 preventive measures and generate demand for vaccines by training doctors and community volunteers in risk communication and community engagement. In Niger, the contribution will help UNICEF support the availability and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines through the deployment of mobile teams to reach people in hard-to-reach areas. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Ms. Nathalie Fustier, the UN Resident Coordinator for Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Nasser Alkahtani, the Executive Director of AGFUND.
“No one is safe until everyone is safe, including those in conflict-affected and other hard-to-reach areas,” said Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area, at the signing ceremony in Riyadh. “I am grateful to AGFUND for two the strategic contributions that will allow us to prioritize some of the most vulnerable and underserved communities on the planet.”
“In the fight against COVID-19, we cannot leave anyone behind,” said HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of AGFUND. “Through our work with UNICEF, we seek to reach vulnerable communities in rural and remote areas. They require information, vaccines, and much-needed care and attention.”
UNICEF’s latest report, released on its 75th anniversary, highlighted the various ways in which COVID-19 is jeopardizing decades of progress on key childhood challenges such as poverty, health, access to education, nutrition, child protection, and mental well-being. It warned of growing divides between wealthy and poor children, with the most marginalized and vulnerable hurt the most.
AGFUND’s contribution is timely in support of UNICEF’s role in delivering COVID-19 vaccines and providing risk communication and community engagement services to communities that need it the most supports a vital effort to end the pandemic and reverse the alarming rollback in child health and nutrition.