United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Russian Federation signed an agreement on financing the Prevention of Child Injuries international technical aid project.
The agreement was signed by Mr. Yuriy Oksamitniy, UNICEF Representative in Belarus, and H.E. Mr. Alexander Surikov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus.
The project is to be coordinated by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, while the National Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics will act as an implementing partner.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of line ministries, partner organizations, NGOs, and mass media.
The project timeframe is 2014-2016 or 36 months from its registration date. The project overall budget is USD 595,000, where USD 500,000 is allocated by the Russian Federation and USD 95,000 by UNICEF. The main project goal is to reduce by 2017 child mortality rate by 10%, including mortality due to external causes (traffic injuries, drownings, poisonings, falls, fire-related deaths), as well as child disability rate due to injuries and other consequences of external causes.
Mr. Alexander Surikov noted that Russian contribution would assist Belarus in reducing child injury that is a serious challenge for the country and decreasing the negative effects of injuries for children, families, and society as a whole.
“I express my gratitude to the Government of the Russian Federation for its financial support, and I hope that this first joint UNICEF/Russia project will not remain the only one. The project implementation will not only allow to bring best practices to Belarus but also bring the value of cooperation with Russian institutions,” said Mr. Yuri Oksamitniy, UNICEF Representative in Belarus. “It is important that there are are representatives of various Belarusian ministries and NGOs among the project partners”.
Mr. Vyacheslav Shilo, Deputy Minister of Health, underlined that a lot is being done in Belarus to downscale child injuries. He expressed confidence that project implementation would strengthen the system of child injury prevention, rendering medical assistance to injured children at all levels starting from districts up to the National Scientific and Practical Center for Traumatology and Orthopedics. Special attention will be paid to the advanced training of medical professionals.
Mr. Yuri Ambrazevich, Head of the Multilateral Diplomacy Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, highlighted the significance of applying best practices in the prevention of child injuries in Belarus, the country that made a great progress in reining infant, child, and maternal mortality.
Project objectives encompass strengthening of coordination and inter-agency cooperation on child injury prevention; development and implementation of preventive interventions, including measures of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention aimed at preventing both injuries and their consequences and complications. Emphasis will be made on raising public awareness, namely, parents, and involving the mass media into the realization of preventive measures. New methodologies, approaches and teaching tools (including electronic ones) on safety skills for children and adolescents will be developed and introduced.