UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe, Afshan Khan, today concluded her first official visit to Turkmenistan.
The partnership between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF has yielded some important results in health, nutrition, education and other areas affecting the lives of children and their families, said Ms. Khan. “I am encouraged by the investments in children’s wellbeing made by government and look forward to the best initiatives and successful programmes reaching national scale,” she said. “Delivering results for every child in the country remains the bedrock of our partnership with the Government,” she added.
During her four-day visit, Ms. Khan discussed priorities for children in Turkmenistan as part of UNICEF’s partnership and cooperation with the Government.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foregin Affairs, Rashid Meredov; Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, responsible for education and health, Purli Agamyradov; and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, responsible for economy and social welfare, Gochmyrat Myradov were among the senior officials she met.
Ms. Khan also met the Speaker of the Parliament, Gulshat Mammedova and the Ombudsman, Yazdursun Gurbannazarova. The UNICEF Regional Director thanked them for the fruitful collaboration and ongoing prioritization of child rights issues in the country’s policy and programming. Ms. Khan had earlier met the Minister of Health and Medical Industry, Nurmuhammet Amannepesov, and Minister of Education, Mammetmyrat Geldiniyazov, to highlight the importance of a holistic approach to early childhood development (ECD) and to commend their intersectoral collaboration in ECD.
Ms. Khan visited the UNICEF-supported Early Childhood Development Centre at the Scientific-Clinical Mother and Child Health Centre in Ashgabat where she interacted with families accessing the services of the Centre, and met with specialists who provide timely support to children experiencing developmental delays.
The UNICEF Regional Director also met with the UN Country Team, representatives of other international organizations, and senior members of the diplomatic corps.