International Conference on Financing for Development

Department of Public Information - News and Media Services Division - New York
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
18-22 March 2002

19 March 2002




Economic development must go hand in hand with human development, Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), told correspondents at a press briefing this afternoon.

Ms. Bellamy, who presented a report entitled Finance Development Invest in Children, said no country had ever sustained rapid growth with high levels infant mortality or illiteracy. The majority of people who lived below the poverty line in the world were women and children, she noted. She was attempting to infuse into the debate the importance of investment in health and education if sustainable development was to be achieved.

A correspondent asked about the education of children in the financing for development context. Ms. Bellamy said that, while enrolment rates had increased around world, 120 million to 130 million children of primary school age were not in school -- 60 per cent of them girls. Girls who received an education were more likely to grow to be an adult, she noted.

There was a direct link between economic vitality and investment in health and education, she continued. The upcoming UN General Assembly special session on children would be a bridge between the current Conference and the upcoming Johannesburg Summit on sustainable development.

Another correspondent asked what the Executive Director hoped to bring back from the Conference. Ms. Bellamy said she hoped there would be more discussion of investment in human resources as key to achieving economic vitality. Other aspects of development were important, but finance ministers must see that their economies would grow through support of education and health.

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