Focus on Equity - Strategy Paper, Kyrgyzstan 2012
In the UNICEF understanding, an equity-based approach “seeks to understand and address the root causes of inequity so that all children, particularly those who suffer the worst deprivations in society, have access to education, health care, sanitation, clean water, protection, and other services necessary for their survival, growth, and development.”
Recent global UNICEF research has shown that the best way to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is by targeting the poorest and most disadvantaged children with an equity-focused strategy. As well as being morally right, such an approach could avert many more child and maternal deaths and episodes of stunting than would otherwise be the case. Because national burdens of disease, ill health and illiteracy are concentrated in the most impoverished child populations, providing these children with essential services can greatly accelerate progress towards the MDGs and reduce disparities within countries.
In Kyrgyzstan’s context, certain MDGs, in particular those for maternal mortality (MDG 5) and HIV and AIDS (MDG 6) currently seem very unlikely to be met. Progress towards several other MDGs is likely to be slowed because of the series of socioeconomic, political and security shocks that have hit the country since 2008. A refocusing on equity in UNICEF Kyrgyzstan’s programming is likely to be the best way to support the government to be in a position meet its MDG targets.