Ram Balak Roy! Samastipur.

Unicef will work with various state departments on budget allocation for children’s welfare, state Unicef chief Asadur Rahman said on Tuesday.

This will be among the new works Unicef will take up in the next five years.

“Apart from doing trend analysis of various government departments on whether they have dedicated budget for the well-being of children, Unicef will suggest the departments on how a part of their budget could be utilised on policy making and resource planning processes meant for children,” said Rahman here.

Shivendra Pandya, the programme officer of Unicef Bihar, said though the social welfare department had expenditure for children, several others don’t. “We will chalk out how all the departments can make budgetary provisions for children,” said Pandya.

The other areas where Unicef will work with the state government in the next five years are, Rahman said, infant and neonatal death, and maternal death. “Reducing infant, child and maternal mortality rates will be our priority. We will also work on malnutrition,” he added. “Around 48 per cent of children under five years of age are stunted in Bihar and malnutrition is a big reason for it. We will also work on sanitation and hygiene practices, and strengthening the government’s effort in making the state open-defecation free.”

Besides, Unicef will work on education, focusing on early childhood programme with special attention on children aged between 3 and 6 years, and inclusive social protection to address problems of excluded communities, including minorities.

Unicef’s communication specialist Nipurnh Gupta and water, sanitation and hygiene specialist Praveen More were present at the programme.