Areas of support:UNICEF_logo_blue

  • Health and nutrition
  • Expanded programme on immunization
  • Polio eradication
  • Education
  • Child protection
  • Water, hygiene and sanitation
  • Humanitarian services

Health and nutrition: UNICEF assists the Government of Pakistan (GoP) to promote and strengthen equity-based health service delivery for every child and woman. An integrated package of quality health and nutrition services is being developed especially for the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities. UNICEF focuses on treating acutely malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women by providing therapeutic foods and messaging around child feeding practices. Activities are undertaken to combat chronic malnutrition and stunting.

Expanded programme on immunization: UNICEF works to provide safe, efficient and cost-effective vaccinations to every child. We focus on reducing inequities in immunization access and increasing vaccination coverage, and increasing acceptance of and demand for immunization services.

Polio eradication: UNICEF supports the GoP’s Polio Eradication Initiative for better program accountability, management, oversight and support with the establishment of national and provincial Emergency Operations Centres. UNICEF is committed to vaccinate consistently missed children in high risk areas to ensure that missed, zero-dose children are reduced to zero.

Education: UNICEF works to ensure that out of school children are enrolled. It supports policy development, institutional and system building and reforms through the development and implementation of Education Sector Plans, strengthening governance and accountability mechanisms and capacity building to realise the universal right of education for every child. It promotes quality education for girls. Improved learning environments, disaster risk management and children affected by inequalities are key areas of work.

Child protection: UNICEF strengthens the protective environment for children across the four priority areas of: policy and legislative reform; institutional capacity strengthening; social and cultural behaviour change; and emergency preparedness and response. It supports establishment and revision of appropriate legislative frameworks on child-related laws and policies in conjunction with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant international standards. “End Violence Against Children” has been launched to promote change in social and cultural practices and innovative measures are being adapted to support birth registration.

Water, hygiene and sanitation: UNICEF is helping children and families access safe drinking water and improved sanitation in urban and rural areas. By March 2016, nearly 1.4 million more people will have access to improved sanitation from the Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation programme implemented in 11 districts. Over 8 million people live in open defecation free villages as a result of UNICEF’s efforts in the last five years.

Humanitarian services: UNICEF continues to respond to humanitarian emergencies, both natural and conflict-related, supporting activities related to all its programme areas.

Ms. Aida Girma-Melaku, Representative UNICEF

Ms. Aida Girma-Melaku is currently the UNICEF Representative in Pakistan, where she has served since February 2018. In this function, she is responsible for providing leadership, guidance and support for the development, implementation and monitoring of UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation, ensuring efficient and effective preparedness for and response to emergencies, mobilizing and leveraging resources for the programme and building strategic partnerships for children.

Ms. Girma-Melaku brings over 30 years of experience to this position, focusing on planning, leading and managing complex development and humanitarian assistance programmes.

Prior to her appointment as Representative of UNICEF in Pakistan, Ms. Girma-Melaku served as UNICEF Representative for over 14 years in Uganda, South Africa and Malawi.

Ms Girma-Melaku joined UNICEF in 1991 and has since worked in various capacities.  In addition to the positions of Representative in Uganda, Malawi, South Africa and Pakistan, Ms. Girma-Melaku served as Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Mozambique and Somalia.  She also worked as programme planning and health systems specialist.

From 2001 to 2003, Ms. Girma-Melaku was seconded by UNICEF to the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) where she held the position of UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Mozambique.

Prior to joining UNICEF, Ms. Girma-Melaku worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Fund for Women (UNIFEM).  With UNDP, she was responsible for managing UNDP’s special assistance programme to the National Liberations Movements of Southern Africa, including the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan-African Congress (PAC) of South Africa and the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) of Namibia.

Originally from Ethiopia, Ms. Girma-Melaku is a naturalized citizen of Italy.  She was educated in her home country in Ethiopia and in the United States.   She holds a M.Sc. in Development Economics from the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, as well as a B.Sc. in International Development (Human Services), from the same institution.  She also studied Business Administration in the Undergraduate Programme at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin and obtained a Certificate in Management and Financing of Health Programmes in Developing Countries from Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston, Mass., USA in 1995.

Ms. Girma-Melaku is fluent in English and French and has working knowledge of Portuguese and Italian.  Her mother tongue is Amharic.