UNICEF and OECS Strengthen Partnership to Improve Lives of Children in Eastern Caribbean

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

UNICEF and the Organization of EasternCaribbean States (OECS) Tuesday signed a renewed Partnership Agreement, which willdirectly impact the lives of children and young people across OECS Member States.The agreement supports the OECS Human and Social Development Strategy, focusing onkey areas aligned with the missions of both UNICEF and the OECS. These areas are ChildProtection, Social Protection, Inclusive Education, Youth Engagement, and Climate andResilience.

“UNICEF represents one of the finest examples of collaboration and partnership betweenthe OECS and a UN Agency,” said OECS Commission Director General Dr. Didacus Jules.“This partnership is distinct, with active discussions and engagement on concepts, ideas,and experiences that enrich both organizations.”

Dr. Jules revealed that the new OECS-UNICEF partnership extends beyond OECSMember States to include British Overseas Territories as Associated Members. Hecommended UNICEF’s continuous support in strengthening integration within the OECS.UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean, Pieter Bult, underscored theimportance of his organization’s close relationship with the OECS Commission.“Our partnership with the OECS is invaluable,” Bult declared. “We aim to make the OECSmore effective, especially in areas of joint interest, and for our teams to work closertogether on planning and implementing projects.”

Mr. Bult emphasized the unique challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS)in the OECS as another area of priority. “Children’s lives cannot be addressed through asectoral lens,” said Bult. “We need to see the collective impact of our interventions toachieve real progress. There is still much work to do, especially with increasing childpoverty post-COVID and the need to focus on Early Childhood Education. With the OECS’shelp, we hope to make a significant difference.”

The OECS plans to increase the visibility of UNICEF-funded programmes, includingbeneficiary testimonials and a documentary highlighting key milestones and successes ofthe long-standing partnership.Dr. Jules concluded by stating, “In all our partnerships, our partners’ flag will fly equally highbeside ours.”###About UNICEFUNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantagedchildren. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for children, defending their rights,delivering life-saving supplies and services, and fighting for their potential.

About the OECSThe OECS is an intergovernmental organization established in 1981, with headquarters inSaint Lucia. It consists of nine independent member states and three British OverseasTerritories. The OECS Commission is the functional arm of the OECS and is responsiblefor the implementation of decisions from the OECS Authority, which is the supremedecision-making body.

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