December 6, 2004: Headlines: Directors - Belamy: United Nations: Unicef: COS - Guatemala: Kansas City Star: Bellamy says War, Poverty Hinder Goals

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Carol Bellamy: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Peace Corps Directors - Bellamy : Carol Bellamy and the Peace Corps: December 6, 2004: Headlines: Directors - Belamy: United Nations: Unicef: COS - Guatemala: Kansas City Star: Bellamy says War, Poverty Hinder Goals

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Bellamy says War, Poverty Hinder Goals

Bellamy says War, Poverty Hinder Goals

Bellamy says War, Poverty Hinder Goals

UNICEF Chief: War, Poverty Hinder Goals


Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - War, AIDS and grinding poverty have prevented the world from reaching many of its goals for helping young people, the U.N. children's agency said Monday ahead of a major report on the state of the world's children.

The three issues have been major obstacles to progress, even when the international community knew what was needed and had the resolve to do something, UNICEF chief Carol Bellamy told The Associated Press during a three-day visit to Pakistan.

"There have been gains for children over the last decade, but there could have been more," Bellamy said. "The implications of conflict and the implications of HIV and AIDS have an enormous impact on children being able to actually enjoy a childhood where they are able to grow up in relative health, relative peace and relative security."

Details of the report, titled "Childhood Under Threat," will be released Thursday in London.

"However much we make progress on children's rights and welfare, there are always still more challenges to meet, better ways to do our business - and millions of children to whom we owe our best, and who cannot be asked to wait," Bellamy said in a statement.

She noted the devastating impact the war in Iraq has on the nation's children. Even before the war, only 25 percent of Iraqi children attended school. Enrollment increased this year, she said, but the fighting severely damaged Iraq's schools.

"The schools are a total mess," she said. "They aren't all made bad by this war ... but clearly the most recent war has made more facilities worse. So, as much as parents want their children to go to school, the environment of going to school is a bad one."

Bellamy cited Pakistan as an example where 60 percent of all child deaths could be prevented by alleviating a small number of childhood diseases, such as diarrhea, pneumonia and neonatal infections.

She said Pakistan's progress in addressing education and health issues was encouraging, but noted that the country of about 150 million still lags behind even impoverished neighbors, such as Bangladesh, in many areas.

Only about 2 percent of Pakistan's budget goes to education, while well more than half its revenue is earmarked for the military.

"We do think that government leaders make decisions, and some government leaders make decisions that actually hurt children," Bellamy said. "Investing too much in the military ... means that you have too little resources to invest in what I would call the peace and security side."

Bellamy met with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and the health and education ministers, and attended a conference on volunteerism.

A recent article in The Lancet, a British medical journal, criticized Bellamy as having wrongly steered UNICEF away from its traditional focus on health care to an emphasis on children's rights.

Bellamy said the article missed the mark.

"Child survival remains a key to everything we do," she said, adding that education and rights were key to improving health care and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Bellamy step down as UNICEF chief in 2005, after 10 years on the job. No successor has been named.

A former director of the United States Peace Corps and the first woman to be elected president of the New York City Council, Bellamy said she was proud of her accomplishments over the last decade.

"I feel like I am turning over to my successor an organization that is making a difference in a world that needs to have even more of a difference made in it," she said.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.

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RPCV Chris Matthews interviews RPCV Chris Shays 30 Nov
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Story Source: Kansas City Star

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Directors - Belamy; United Nations; Unicef; COS - Guatemala



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