An article by Bob Diamond providing insight into the issues affecting the world’s urban children is published as part of UNICEF’s flagship global report, launched this week.
Providing the only perspective from a business leader, and drawing on personal stories from young people in India and Brazil, Bob considers how Barclays and UNICEF have helped marginalised young people achieve economic inclusion through their ongoing partnership.
Each year, UNICEF’s report, The State of the World's Children, closely examines a key issue affecting children. With almost half the world’s children now living in urban areas, the focus for the 2012 report is on the challenges such children face and calls for greater emphasis on identifying and meeting their needs.
Bob’s piece features alongside a number of distinguished contributors, including Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Sylvia Borren, Director of Greenpeace Netherlands and actor Sir Roger Moore, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for over 20 years.
Barclays and UNICEF formed a partnership in 2008, backed by a £5-million investment that has provided financial education and training in employment and enterprise skills to 600,000 marginalized young people, across 13 countries.
Bob writes: “It is widely acknowledged that a young population that is well educated and financially aware makes for a much stronger economy. The lack of financial capability and employment prospects for young people can lead to increased poverty, inequality and civil unrest.”
“By partnering with UNICEF, we can expand enormously the range of ways in which we can help, by combining their skills and expertise with ours. The partnership does just that, tackling the issue of youth exclusion via basic financial knowledge and employment. I have seen the work of UNICEF for myself, and it is working.”
He concludes: “In forging this new paradigm, Barclays is applying its global capabilities to local challenges. We are enabling our local communities, and the young marginalized people who are growing up in them, to prosper.”
Bob’s contribution to The State of the World’s Children 2012 report demonstrates the strength and impact of Barclays Citizenship agenda on a global scale.