ADDIS ABEBA – A Lebanese citizen, Adele Khodr, has become in charge of one of the largest United Nations Children’s Fund’s programs in the world, after presenting her credential to Ethiopian authorities on Monday.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Markos Tekle received her credential at the ministry where he told her Ethiopia’s belief in multilateralism.
Ambassador Tekle also said the government was keen to strengthen its partnership with agencies like UNICEF which, he said, was known for its pragmatism and results-oriented programming.
Khodr said UNICEF’s wide presence in the field in Ethiopia gave the organization the experience, know-how and the evidence from the field to be an effective partner of the Government in addressing the challenges facing children and women.
Khodr’s career with UNICEF began in her native Lebanon in 1990, according to the UN agency.
In 2002, she moved to Sudan where she headed UNICEF’s Child Protection program until 2005 when she transferred to UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia to work on child trafficking.
From 2006-2008, she worked as UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Sierra Leone before moving to India to head UNICEF’s field office in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
There, she led programs on polio, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection for a population of 200 million.
Prior to coming to Ethiopia, Khodr served as UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, one of the largest UNICEF programs globally.
A national of Lebanon, Khodr has a BA in Public Administration from The American University of Beirut and an MA in Anthropology.
She has also worked a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University.
The new Representative joins at a critical juncture when UNICEF Ethiopia is developing its next country program for 2020-2024, said her new office.
Khodr is keen to work with the Government in Ethiopia to ensure the safeguarding of children’s rights and the realization of their potential, it added. UNICEF’s program in Ethiopia is among the top five largest in the world.
By Our Staff Writer