Ambassador Elisabeth Millard
Acting U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
June 1, 2021
Madam Executive Director, thank you for your annual report and opening remarks.
The United States appreciates UNICEF’s continuing advocacy and efforts to focus the international community’s attention on the unique plight and needs of children, women, and families in the most vulnerable and underserved communities, particularly as we address the health emergencies and socio-economic disruptions brought on by the pandemic.
UNICEF’s work to address the indirect impacts of the pandemic, including ensuring the continuity of essential health, mental health, nutrition, education, protection, and water sanitation and hygiene services, remains critical.
The Biden-Harris administration recently committed to donating 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses overseas by the end of June. The U.S. government will continue to work with all our partners, including UNICEF, to help countries around the world increase their vaccine supplies and strengthen health system capacities.
Recognizing much more remains to be done, in addition to our ongoing substantial investments in UNICEF’s humanitarian assistance efforts, the United States recently renewed our five-year award to UNICEF for up to $300 million for COVID-19 response and a wide range of other development programs in collaboration with USAID. This demonstrates our long-standing commitment to partnering with UNICEF to save and improve lives through health, education, WASH, youth engagement, and child protection programming in countries worldwide.
The United States believes the five major goals of UNICEF’s strategic plan remain important and we expect UNICEF to continue to help countries address humanitarian emergencies, recovery and resilience, as well as related political, social, and economic factors that impede the achievement of long-lasting development. A focus on gender equality, the empowerment of girls, and renewed systematic efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, will be essential to UNICEF’s success.
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest global challenges of our time and has led to international actions and innovations that can significantly improve the delivery of future humanitarian and development programs. The United States looks forward to working with UNICEF and Member States to ensure that we harness these opportunities, including through UNICEF’s 2022-2025 strategic plan.