Following a visit to Viet Nam, internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry is calling for increased focus on children being left behind in one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.
Katy Perry was in rural Ninh Thuan province, among the poorest and most remote regions of Viet Nam. She visited UNICEF programmes aimed at ending exclusion for children with disabilities.
She also saw the organization’s work in child survival, education and early childhood development; water, sanitation and hygiene; and climate change, in a particularly challenging environment.
On top of poverty, which traps families in intergenerational cycles of deprivation, many of the country’s most vulnerable children and families now have to deal with the effects of climate change.
According to UNICEF, a lack of access to clean water and sanitation, combined with long periods of drought, means children are even more prone to malnutrition and disease.
According to the World Bank income classification Viet Nam has now ‘graduated’ to become a lower-middle-income country. However, UNICEF says, in rural areas such as the province Katy visited, children continue to suffer from deprivation and rampant and pervasive poverty stands in sharp contrast to the progress evident in big cities.
Across all its programmes in Viet Nam, UNICEF supports the government and other partners to pursue an equal agenda for all children in the country and especially for children from ethnic minorities and low income families, children with disabilities, and children at risk of exploitation and abuse.
“UNICEF works to ensure that every child, urban or rural, rich or poor, has a chance to thrive, to grow and to contribute to their families and communities as well as to have the opportunity to shape the world that we live in,” said Katy.
Photo courtesy: UNICEF