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Aziz Khan next chair of Unicef Int”l Council

Staff Reporter:

UNICEF on Saturday welcomed Muhammed Aziz Khan as the incoming Chair of the UNICEF International Council, succeeding the inaugural Chair, Maria Ahlström-Bondestam. He will assume the Chair in November 2024.

The UNICEF International Council is a unique community of approximately 150 private philanthropists and partners – many from the world’s leading business families and global influencers – who want to optimize their philanthropic investments for children by bringing together their funding, leadership, and expertise. Together, International Council members have invested more than US$552 million in UNICEF, in support of children around the world.

Aziz Khan is a businessman, and founder and Trustee of the Anjuman and Aziz Charitable Trust (AACT), together with his wife, Anjuman Khan. He and his family have been part of the UNICEF International Council since 2022.

Driven by the aim to shape a better future for children, Mr. Khan and his family have, through their philanthropy, sponsored schools, built hospitals, and supported projects to address drug addiction and violence against women and children in Bangladesh, his home country.

“I am a believer in the power of education – not only for its ability to lift people out of poverty, but as a unifying force for good. I see education as the bedrock of modern civilization and builder of trust amongst humanity and that by enhancing understanding, education has the power to reduce social conflicts and bring more harmony into the world,” said Aziz Khan.

More specifically, after the COVID-19 pandemic, Khan decided to focus the effort of the AACT, on education, and on the urgent task of getting children back into class, helping them catch up on their lost schooling.

“The UNICEF International Council has a proven record of delivering a high impact at scale. Having mobilized hundreds of millions of dollars to support UNICEF’s essential work around the world, our trusted philanthropic partners are committed to investing in solutions for children. I am pleased to welcome Aziz Khan as the next UNICEF International Council Chair, and I look forward to working with him to shape a better, fairer future for all children,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kitty van der Heijden.

Under Khan’s leadership, the UNICEF International Council aims to grow its membership by positioning itself as the natural home for philanthropists working on the rights of children. It will strengthen its role as a convening platform on key global issues, explore bespoke philanthropic journeys and strategies, and find ways to amplify impact on the lives of children and beyond through an investment to children’s futures. Council members are committed to solutions that enable access to quality education and health systems, that build climate resilience, that amplify the voices of youth and that drive action in the face of emergencies. They aim to scale up strategic investments in children to secure the ultimate return: a future where all families and communities can prosper.

The UNICEF International Council hosts an annual symposium, as well as thematic working groups and other engagement opportunities that provide members with the chance to learn from one another, interact with the UNICEF leadership team and identify areas for collaboration and joint investment. Working hand in hand with UNICEF, Council members seek to identify the most pressing challenges facing children worldwide and demonstrate how strategic philanthropy can catalyze solutions and greater impact for children.

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