UNICEF and KOICA’s $39 Million Project to Build Climate Resilience for Children

BALI, INDONESIA, 21 May 2024 – UNICEF and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have announced a groundbreaking US$39 million partnership to deliver climate-smart social services to vulnerable children in East Asia Pacific and Eastern and Southern Africa.

Over the next three years, this collaboration will enhance the resilience of critical services like schools, healthcare, and water systems in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Comoros, and Zimbabwe. These improvements aim to protect communities from the increasing threats posed by climate change.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell expressed appreciation for Korea’s support, emphasizing that the funding will ensure that essential services remain accessible during climate-related disasters, safeguarding children’s health, education, and well-being.

Jungmee Sohn, Vice President of KOICA, highlighted the urgent need for this initiative, noting that the chosen regions are among the most vulnerable to climate disasters. This project aligns with Korea’s commitment to global leadership in sustainable climate action.

In East Asia and the Pacific, children today face far more climate-related disasters than previous generations. In Eastern and Southern Africa, environmental changes have led to significant displacement and reduced access to essential services, exacerbating gender inequality and food insecurity.

George Laryea-Adjei, UNICEF Director of Programme Group Leadership Team, emphasized the critical choice facing the world: to protect the progress in child development or to risk losing it. He hailed this partnership as a vital step towards creating a sustainable future.

The US$39 million grant is the largest UNICEF has received from the Korean Government, with US$29 million designated for East Asia and Pacific, and US$10 million for Eastern and Southern Africa. This funding will improve the lives of over 120,000 people, including 48,000 children, by providing access to climate-resilient services and infrastructures.

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