Developing Countries: Children

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department will publish a response to the 10 recommendations set out in UNICEF UK’s September 2020 report entitled A Future at Risk.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

I welcome the publication of the UNICEF UK report 'A Future at Risk', it presents a comprehensive set of recommendations and a rich set of resources to highlight the negative impact COVID 19 has had on education and health in developing countries. Many of the recommendations highlighted in the report are closely aligned with FCDO priorities as we build back from COVID-19.

The UK is committed to ensuring children around the world return to school when it is safe to do so. We have adapted our bilateral education programmes in 18 countries in response to the pandemic and have stepped up funding for education including a £5 million uplift to the Education Cannot Wait fund for emergency education in fragile contexts, and over £5m of new funding to UNHCR to enable over 5500 teachers to provide vital education for children in 10 refugee-hosting countries over the crucial next seven months. We are also getting behind UNICEF's Reopening Better Campaign, both globally and in country.

The UK is committed to supporting developing countries' health systems to respond to COVID-19 and to achieving the health-related SDGs. We will do this with a particular focus on ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030 and also through increasing UK leadership on malaria. The UK remains committed to preventing and treating malnutrition, including work with the Government of Japan to ensure the 2021 Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit is a success, and advancing and defending comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights. The UK is actively working through the ACT-Accelerator and its partners to realise the aim of ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, once available, are accessible to all who need them.

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