Turkmenistan independently finances the national immunization program and maintains the highest immunization rates in Central Asia and around the world. This was stated in an interview with the newspaper “Neutral Turkmenistan” by Mohammad Fayyazi, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan.
Commenting on the achievements in Turkmenistan’s cooperation with UNICEF, he recalled that thanks to the immunization program, the country was able to eliminate polio and in 2002 was certified as polio-free.
The country also fully finances the programs of universal salt iodization and flour fortification, which are of key importance for the healthy development of children.
In addition, UNICEF maintains an effective partnership with Turkmenistan in such areas as early child development, early intervention and nutrition.
Fayyazi also highlighted the cooperation of UNICEF with the Ministry of Education in the field of early education, inclusive education, development of a National Concept of Inclusive Education, which could serve as the basis for intersectoral policy on the planning and implementation of inclusive education in the country.
Among the key areas of joint work of Turkmenistan and UNICEF is the promotion of environmental education, raising awareness about climate change and disaster risk reduction both among national policymakers through a Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy aimed at children and with children in schools through interactive lessons.
Also, work is currently underway on the next edition of the National Action Plan for the Realization of Children’s Rights.
Turkmenistan was recently elected to the Executive Board of the UN Children’s Fund for the period 2024-2026. This is the second time the country has been elected to the Executive Board.
Speaking about the significance of this event, the head of the UNICEF mission in Turkmenistan explained: “As a member of the UNICEF Executive Board, Turkmenistan will have the opportunity to learn more about the work of UNICEF in other countries and at the global level, to participate in the revision and approval of its activities, policies, country programs and budgets.”
This will provide Turkmenistan an excellent platform for promoting children’s rights beyond its borders and at the global level, Fayyazi stressed.
“In this process, Turkmenistan can set an example and resolutely promote issues such as immunization, climate change, where, as we know, the country has achieved great success. This will give a new impetus to the already close cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNICEF in the name of the well-being of children,” he added. ///nCa, 14 April 2023