HA NOI (VNS)— Policy-makers in East Asia and the Pacific must stabilise finances and create new social policies in order to protect children and invest in their futures, a conference heard yesterday.
|Policy-makers in East Asia and the Pacific must stabilise finances and create new social policies in order to protect children and invest in their futures, a conference heard yesterday.—File Photo
Speaking at the meeting, Daniel Toole, UNICEF's Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, said that economic growth in the region during the past two decades had helped millions of people out of poverty, reduced child mortality and brought primary education to almost all children.
However, the success had also created gaps between the rich and the poor, he said, leaving many migrants, ethnic minorities and those living in rural areas without access to social services such as health care and education.
"This leads to a cost to children, to families, to society and to nations. Economic development and social development are inseparable," he said.
In East Asia and the Pacific, on average, one in three newborns died due to a malnourished mother. About 28 per cent of the total of under five years old suffered from malnourishment.
Toole said that more finance was needed to solve the problem. Any government should be able to make the assurance that children, no matter where they are born, have the right to survival, development, care, respect and education, he said.
Deputy Minister of Finance Truong Chi Trung admitted that the global economic crisis had affected social policies to protect children.
He said Viet Nam has paid special attention to these social policies, but the task of protecting children from crisis and reducing the disparities in wealth remains incomplete.
Trung said the three-day conference would be a chance for representatives to exchange knowledge and experience in improving investment to bring a better future to children.
The conference was jointly held by the UNICEF and the Ministry of Finance, with the participation of Governmental representatives from 17 countries in the region. — VNS