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  1. 1

    United Nations Children's Fund: report of the Executive Board (15-26 April 1985).

    UNICEF. Executive Board

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. v, 58 p. (Economic and Social Council Official Records, 1985. Supplement No. 10; E/1985/31; E/ICEF/1985/12)

    The major decisions of the UN Children's Fund Executive Board in their 1985 session were to: approve several new program recommendations and endores a major emergency assistance program for several African countries; approve initiatives to accelerate the implementation of child survival and development actions, particularly towards the goal of achieving universal immunization of children against 6 major childhood diseases by 1990; adopt a comprehensive policy framework for UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) programs concerning women; approve UNICEF revised budget estimates for 1984-85 and budget estimates for 1986-87; and make a number of decisions on ways to improve the administration and the role of the Board. The Board members both reported on and heard evidence of the encouraging results of recent efforts to implement national child survival and development programs. Reports of the successful immunization campaigns in Burkina Faso, Colombia, El Salvador, and Nigeria were welcomed, along with the news that half a million children were saved during the year through the use of oral rehydration therapy. Stronger efforts were encouraged to improve results in the areas of breastfeeding and growth monitoring. Implementation issues in connection with child survival and development actions were a continuing focus of Board attention during the session. The accelerated implementation of child survival and development actions was accorded the highest priority in approving the medium-term plan for 1984-88. The Board also adopted a resolution that sought to draw the attention of world leaders, during their observance of the 40th anniversary of the UN, to the importance of reaffirming their commitment to accelerate the implementation of the child survival and development resolution and realizing universal immunization by 1990. Delegations commended the results of the World Health Organization/UNICEF joint nutrition support program but noted that malnutrition among women and children appeared to be increasing. Water supply and sanitation activities were encouraged, and the Board stressed that those actions should be linked with health and hygiene education. The Board endorsed the report on recent UNICEF activities in Africa. Many delegations spoke in support of the increased aid to Africa. Major emphasis was given to linking emergency responses with ongoing UNICEF programs. The Board approved new multi-year commitments from general resources totalling $303,053,422 for 28 country and interregional programs and noted 32 projects totaling $223,215,000 to be funded from specific-purpose contributions. The Board stressed the importance of ensuring that child survival and development actions were integrated with continuing efforts in other of UNICEF action. The Board approved a commitment of $252,550,443 for the budget for the biennium 1986-87.
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  2. 2

    No development without grass-roots action.

    Grant JP

    Development: Seeds of Change. 1984; 2:66-7.

    UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) experience over the last 20 years suggests that successful development for poor people is not possible without substantial grassroots involvement. This is the experience both in the developing and in industrialized countries. In the 1960s it became increasingly clear to UNICEF that if programs were to succeed with the small and landless farmers and the urban slum dwellers, there was no possibility of finding enough money to meet needs of these people through governmental channels. It was equally clear that in most places the existing patterns of development andeconomic growth would not reach these people until the year 2000 or thereabots. It was this that led UNICEF to adopt its basic services approach in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which implied that the cost of the most needed basic health services, education, and water had to be reduced to manageable limits. At this stage UNICEF began to articulate the imperative of using paraprofessionals, the need for much greater use of technology that was appropriate to rural and slum areas, and the importance of involving the people in this effort. Looking at those low income countries which have managed to achieve longer life expectancy and higher literacy rates, they are all societies which have practiced much more people's participation in economic and social activities than most other countries. These 3 very different societies -- China, South Korea, and Sri Lanka -- all have had a rather unique degree of people's participation in the development process. Grassroots participation in development is a very important element in developing and in industrial countries. 1 example concerns the whole question of proper nutrition practices, the promotion of breastfeeding, and the problem of the infant formula code. It was the people's groups which picked up the research results in the 1960s, which showed that breastfeeding was a better and more nutritious way of feeding children. The 2nd example pertains to the US government recommendation of significant cuts in UNDP and UNICEF, and the refusal of Congress to give in to those cuts. In regard to the developing countries, over the last year it has increasingly become the consensus of international experts that a childrens' health revolutioon is possible. The conclusion was based upon the fact that there were 2 new sets of developments coming together that created this new opportunity: some new technological advances in the development of rural rehydration therapy; and the capacity to communicate with poor people. With the whole emphasis on the basic human needs of the last 10 years, and on primary health care in the last 5 years, literally millions of health auxiliaries and community workers have been trained, a group of people who, if a country can mobilize them, can provide a new form of access.
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