Acting Administrator Steele’s Meeting with UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore

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For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala:‎

Yesterday, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator Gloria Steele met with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore. During the meeting, they affirmed their shared interest in maintaining USAID and UNICEF’s long-standing partnership in addressing the critical humanitarian and development challenges facing children and vulnerable populations. They noted shared concern about the immediate and long-term challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on education.

Executive Director Fore provided updates on UNICEF’s efforts to support the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with the first historic shipments from the COVAX Facility beginning to arrive in lower-income countries and vaccination campaigns launching this week. She thanked the United States for its commitment to provide an initial $2 billion, out of a total planned $4 billion, to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support efforts to provide equitable vaccine access.

Executive Director Fore also highlighted the need to continue other immunization campaigns, address climate change, and scale up efforts to bridge the digital divide, including through UNICEF’s Reimagine Education initiative, to bring quality education for all as the pandemic has exacerbated the global learning crisis. Acting Administrator Steele shared concerns about the need to address global education priorities and highlighted the importance of addressing water quality and improving health systems around the world. UNICEF aims to procure two billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccines for 190 countries by the end of 2021,which is in addition to the billions of doses of vaccines it procures each year for routine immunization and outbreak response. From October 2015 to September 2019, the United States disbursed over $2.7 billion to UNICEF.

Last updated: April 16, 2021

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