MASERU – United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) new representative Deepak Bhaskaran, on Friday July 8 presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and international relations Matšepo Ramakoae. Bhaskaran assured the government of UNICEF’s continued commitment which is to improve the health and well-being of Basotho children and families.
He succeeds Anurita Bains and during his three-year tenure, he will play a critical role in steering the Lesotho Country Office (LCO) towards realising its commitment to supporting children living in the country as well as their families. This is to realise their rights and to develop their full potential in the areas of health, education, nutrition, sanitation and protection.
In presenting his credentials to the government of Lesotho, Bhaskaran congratulated the government’s on-going efforts to improve the well-being of children in the country. “UNICEF will continue to align its development work to national policies and action plans such as Lesotho’s National Strategic Development Plan (LNSDP) which is a key document that informs our work for children and their families in the country,” said Bhaskaran.
Speaking on behalf of the government, Matšepo Ramakoae appreciated UNICEF’s continued support to the country’s development agenda and priorities, citing notable work done in improving the child-related indicators in different areas such as health and education.
“The government of Lesotho appreciates its partnership with UNICEF and welcomes the continued support the organisation is providing to ensure that Basotho children develop to their full potential,” Ramakoae said. Bhaskaran, an India national who joined UNICEF in April 2000 has held several senior positions, including most recently the UNICEF Regional Chief of Innovation and ICT for Eastern and Southern Africa from September 2016 to December 2021. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (Strategic Management) degree from the University of Wales.
Bhaskaran brings over 21 years of experience in a strategic digital innovation and development, ICT, technology partnerships, emergency and operations management in Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the middle East. Before this assignment, he served as UNICEF deputy Regional Director in Eastern and Southern African region where he was responsible for management and operations oversight 21 countries.
Furthermore, he also served as Chief of ICT UNICEF HQ Geneva, where he managed the private sector fundraising business systems and ICT for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Between 2005 and 2009, Bhaskaran served as the Specialist Emergency Response Operations (SERO) and ICT for UNICEF. This is where he led the rapid deployment of emergency kits for UNICEF operations and global capacity building.
Moreover, from 2002 to 2005 he served as an ICT and Emergency specialist at UNICEF middle east and North Africa, where he was responsible for ICT and Emergency response support for 14 middle East and North Africa Countries. UNICEF was established in 1946, in the aftermath of World war II. Their mandate is helping children and young people whose lives and futures are at risk – no matter what role their country played in the war.
What matters in UNICEF is reaching every child in need, protecting children’s rights to survive, thrive and reach their full potential. This is the organisation’s DNA which was born from the ashes to the global challenges that affect millions today, their mandate has never wavered. UNICEF works consistently to protect the rights and well-being of all children, whoever they are and wherever they are.