UNICEF in Belarus

The Republic of Belarus has been a member of UNICEF since 1953. UNICEF Office in Minsk was opened in 1997. The Basic Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and UNICEF was signed in New York in December 2007. More than once Belarus has been a member of the governing body of UNICEF – its Executive Board.

Currently the cooperation between UNICEF and the Republic of Belarus is based on long-term 2016-2020 Country Programme. It is based on the national priorities of the Republic of Belarus in the field of social development, health care and education.

The priority areas include: enabling caring family and safe environment for every child; development and engagement of teens and young people, promotion of early childhood intervention and inclusion of children with disabilities, improvements of monitoring system and the quality of statistical data on children, knowledge generation and partnership.

UNICEF Priorities in Belarus

Caring Family and Safe Environment for Every Child
Development and Engagement of Teens and Young People
  • All teens have access to appropriate healthcare, know how to protect themselves in difficult situations and practice safe behavior.
  • Teens and young people take active part in developing and implementing solutions that affect their lives.
  • Justice system is child-friendly and focuses on the best interests of the child.
  • Mortality from external causes has declined and in every home has been created all the conditions for the safe living of children.
Early Childhood Intervention and Inclusion of Children with Disabilities
  • Establish effective systems for early identification and early intervention for young children with disabilities and special needs.
  • Promote inclusion in schools for all children – celebrate differences, support learning, and respond to individual needs.
  • Eliminate stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities and their families.
Monitoring, Knowledge Generation and Partnership
  • In cooperation with our partners, develop and pilot innovative solutions for and with children and adolescents
  • Monitor the situation of children and women and generate knowledge to help government take evidence-based decisions and improve children-related policy
  • Develop and strengthen strategic partnerships for children with government actors, private sector and NGO partners

Results of UNICEF Cooperation with the Republic of Belarus

UNICEF was the first UN agency to help the state fight HIV/AIDS. The fruitful joint work of the state and UN agencies resulted in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

UNICEF initiated development of a network of adolescent and youth friendly centers, as well as provided the state with its expert and technical assistance in the process. Now there are 55 centers of this kind functioning all over the country.

With the support of UNICEF, the peer-to-peer education system regarding the development of healthy lifestyle skills among adolescents has been institutionalized and integrated into the general secondary education system.

In 2010, the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities global Initiative started developing rapidly in all regions of Belarus. 25 cities joined the initiative.

With the active participation of UNICEF, children's/youth councils/ parliaments were established and are actively functioning in 25 cities.

UNICEF supported the establishment of the first social and educational centers and training of professionals working with families with children. At present, 138 centers of this kind are functioning in Belarus.

An increase in the number of orphans and children left without parental care has been stopped, and a steady decrease in the number has been ensured. For the period since 2007, the reduction rate reached 25%.

Since 2007, the proportion of children removed from families due to their parents’ parental rights deprivation, of the total number of newly identified orphans, has decreased by 30%.

Since 2007, the proportion of orphans and children left without parental care who are being raised in children's residential institutions has decreased from 36,83% to 18,33%.

The number of children's residential institutions in which orphans are being raised has decreased from 79 to 35 institutions over the past 10 years.

The campaign to promote the consumption of iodized salt became the most successful campaign in the country and contributed to the reduction of iodine deficiency among Belarusian children.