ISLAMABAD (BMZ REPORT )
Telenor Group and UNICEF have signed a global partnership agreement and are joining forces to promote children’s development. The five-year agreement includes both financial support and access to a range of mobile technology solutions that will help advance children’s rights.
The parties will focus on UNICEF programmes to advance child survival, development and protection, using mobile technology. The new agreement includes an annual contribution from Telenor Group to UNICEF of NOK 3.6 million (approximately US$580,000) for the next five years. This partnership will support UNICEF’s work for children, with a focus on countries in Asia where Telenor is present.
Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor Group President and CEO, and Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, met recently to discuss the relevance of innovative technology solutions to UNICEF’s work for children’s rights.
“I am pleased that we have signed this global partnership agreement with UNICEF, a driving force in promoting and realizing rights for each individual child. Telenor Group regards UNICEF as a strong partner with a proven track record of addressing development needs and a keen interest in leveraging mobile technology and ICT. Telenor has a large presence in Asia and we are looking forward to be working together with UNICEF in support of children’s rights and development in the region. The mobile industry has proven to have positive effects on economic and social welfare, it is our ambition to extend the benefits of telecommunications into all markets where we operate,” said Telenor Group President and CEO, Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
“Innovation has driven tremendous progress for children, not only by helping us reach the most remote and disadvantaged communities with critical services, but also by giving those communities and children new ways to improve their own lives and make their voices heard,” said Mr. Lake, UNICEF’s Executive Director. “UNICEF is very glad to deepen our partnership with an industry leader like Telenor. By developing new products and solutions to global challenges, Telenor helps drive further progress for the most vulnerable children, ultimately strengthening the societies in which it does business.”
Prior to signing the new global agreement, Telenor Group and UNICEF collaborated locally for several years, with a focus on education against child labour in Bangladesh, the provision of health services for Roma people in Serbia, and health information services in Thailand.
“In order to meet the global challenges, UNICEF needs to cooperate with the leading performers. Telenor Group takes active social responsibility by contributing to our work both financially and by using its core competence. Mobile technology has proven important in order to serve the most vulnerable, with services such as online health advices and birth registration by SMS. We are also proud to launch UNICEF’s first global partnership agreement with a Norwegian-based company,” said Bernt G. Apeland, Executive Director of UNICEF Norway.