On Tuesday, the new United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative to the Maldives, Dr. Edward Addai presented his letter of appointment to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, Abdulla Shahid. Following the ceremony, the UNICEF Representative and the Minister held a meeting where various dialogues were exchanged on different matters.
At the meeting, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and the UNICEF Representative discussed the instrumental role of UNICEF in the Maldives, particularly in driving efforts in areas such as child protection, maternal and child health, immunization, nutrition, and pre and primary education and social inclusion. Speaking further, both parties also spotlighted the progress of the UNICEF Country Programme Document and its implementation. They noted that this supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF 2022-2026).
UNICEF has been an influential force in the Maldives, especially in areas related to the protection of the rights of the child. This focus is also a key priority area for the current administration and the Government of the Maldives as well. In the last 43 years in the Maldives, UNICEF has supported rolling out cholera and polio vaccines (in the 1970s and 1980s), procuring vaccines against COVID-19 in 2021, from helping establish schools in every island in the 1970s to supporting the design of education programmes for 21st-century skills and competencies among many others.