World Day News/Media

World Day Chair Speaks on Child Survival Revolution

Ten Promises to Our Children: A Multi Religious Commitment calls for specific actions to save and improve the lives of children. World Day Chair, Kul Gautam details the impressive history of the Child Survival Revolution which saved an estimated 25 million lives and highlights an ambitious new initiative, Child Survival – A Call to Action which was launched in D.C. on 14 June. 

 

USAID and UNICEF: A Winning Partnership for Child Survival and Development

by Kul Chandra Gautam·

Distinguished Speakers Series in Celebration of 50th Anniversary of USAID

Washington, DC, 6 June 2012

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I feel immensely honoured to be asked to address this impressive gathering as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). And I am particularly thrilled to speak about USAID’s historic contribution and leadership role in what came to be known as a global Child Survival and Development Revolution (CSDR), of which we are celebrating the 30th anniversary this year.  

I have many vivid personal memories of how UNICEF, the agency I worked for over three decades, and USAID collaborated closely in initially conceptualizing and then implementing on a massive scale that ambitious programme starting in 1982.   

The revolution for child survival and development continues to this day producing impressive results. Many old skeptics have become converts over time, and many new actors have joined the revolution. To its credit, USAID has remained the most steadfast and unwavering champion of child survival despite many changes in the US government administrations, the US Congress, and the many organizational and even philosophical changes over the decades in USAID itself.  

I am delighted that under the leadership of Dr. Rajiv Shah, and with the full backing of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama, child survival continues to command USAID’s continuing priority. A testimony of that continuing commitment is the high level forum on Child Survival Call to Action with the theme of “A Promise to Keep: Ending Preventable Child Deaths”  that  the US government will co-host with the governments of India and Ethiopia, along with UNICEF and other partners next week here in Washington DC.

This is a fitting moment for such a high level forum as the international community is now engaged in a last push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to plan for a new sustainable development agenda beyond MDGs.

This afternoon, I have been asked to share with you my recollection of the origins of this great revolution, some of its major milestones, and lessons learned for the future. [...]

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