UNICEF and OECS strengthen partnership

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The United Nations (photo: courtesy of Xabi Oregon)

UNICEF and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) signed a renewed partnership agreement, which will directly impact children’s and young people’s lives across OECS Member States. The agreement supports the OECS Human and Social Development Strategy, focusing on critical areas aligned with the missions of both UNICEF and the OECS. These areas are Child Protection, Social Protection, Inclusive Education, Youth Engagement, and Climate and Resilience.

“UNICEF represents one of the finest examples of collaboration and partnership between the OECS and a UN Agency,” said OECS Commission Director General Dr Didacus Jules. “This partnership is distinct, with active discussions and engagement on concepts, ideas, and experiences that enrich both organisations.” Jules revealed that the new OECS-UNICEF partnership extends beyond OECS Member States to include British Overseas Territories as Associated Members. He commended UNICEF’s continuous support in strengthening integration within the OECS.

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OECS Green Link (photo: courtesy of OECS Twitter)

UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean Pieter Bult underscored the importance of his organisation’s close relationship with the OECS Commission. “Our partnership with the OECS is invaluable,” Bult declared. “We aim to make the OECS more effective, especially in areas of joint interest, and for our teams to work closer together on planning and implementing projects.”

Bult emphasised the unique challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the OECS as another priority area. “Children’s lives cannot be addressed through a sectoral lens,” said Bult. “We need to see the collective impact of our interventions to achieve real progress. There is still much work to do, especially with increasing child poverty post-Covid and the need to focus on Early Childhood Education. With the OECS’s help, we hope to make a significant difference.”

The OECS plans to increase the visibility of UNICEF-funded programmes, including beneficiary testimonials and a documentary highlighting key milestones and successes of the long-standing partnership. Dr Jules concluded, “In all our partnerships, our partners’ flag will fly equally high beside ours.”

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