UNICEF and the Football Federation of Kyrgyzstan continues cooperation in the interests of children

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Bishkek, 24 March 2017 – The Asian Cup 2019 qualification football match between Kyrgyzstan and Macau will be devoted to health and survival of children following the joint initiative of the Football Federation of Kyrgyzstan and UNICEF. Children, including prematurely born ones, will escort the footballers of the national teams of Kyrgyzstan and Macau to open the football match, which will take place on 28 March at 19:30 in Bishkek.

Over 2 billion children live in the world, and 2 million of them are from Kyrgyzstan. Every child is born with equal rights to health, survival, and development.

President of the Football Federation of Kyrgyzstan Semeti Sultanov said: «We are very proud to join the initiatives for children and address the urgent issues through the world game number 1. Football is more than just a game. And our future is children».

«Every year about 160,000 children are born in Kyrgyzstan. The country has reached a significant progress in decreasing child mortality. We hope that this trend will continue and every child will have a chance to survive, thrive and reach the full potential», - emphasized UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan Yukie Mokuo.

According to the global UNICEF report ‘Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed’ in 2015, Kyrgyzstan cut the child mortality of children under five from 65 deaths per 1000 livebirths in 1990 to 21 in 2015. Annual decrease is about 4,5%. However, it is necessary to strengthen the screening and early identification of delays in newborns development to provide timely support and help every child, especially prematurely born ones, to survive and thrive.

In summer 2016, UNICEF Kyrgyzstan and the Federation of Football of Kyrgyzstan launched partnership to promote children’s rights through the power of sport. Last year, the matches conducted by the Kyrgyzstan national football team with Philippines, Lebanon and Turkmenistan highlighted the rights of children with disabilities, family care for every child and the international day of the girl child.

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About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work in Kyrgyzstan visit: https://www.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan and follow us on Facebook, Instagram и Twitter .

About FFKR: The Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic (FFKR) was established on 25 February 1992 In 1994 the FFKR became a full-fledged member of the International Football Federation (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). FFKR carries out the activities of the national football teams in different age categories.