Zamfara, UNICEF Refocus Children Wellbeing Interventions -Official

 


The Zamfara State Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have taken steps to refocus interventions that would improve the wellbeing of children.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Ibrahim Magayaki stated this in Kaduna on Saturday at the opening of a two-day workshop.

The workshop is to validate the draft Situation Analysis (SitAn) of children in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it is organised by the Zamfara Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning with support from UNICEF.

Magayaki said that the state with support from UNICEF was taking stock of situation of children in the state; their problems, challenges, root causes and how to address them.

He also said the conditions of parents and caregivers were also being looked into to enable the government design cost effective programmes and interventions for the wellbeing of children.

“Our goal is to address the prevailing challenges mitigating against effective growth and development of children in the state.

“As a government, we have the responsibility of ensuring that the rights of children are well protected. This will enable them to grow to full potential and contribute to national development.

“The SitAn, therefore, will provide the baseline data for government and partners to refocus existing policies, programmes and interventions to adequately meet the needs of children,” he said.

The commissioner thanked UNICEF for supporting the state in designing and implementing policies and programmes that protected the rights of children.

Also, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Zainab Gumi, noted the need for children to be accorded prominence in government investment in education, health and all aspects of their life.

Gumi said the meeting provided an opportunity for relevant stakeholders to review the analysis and agree on the true situation of children to guide implementation of interventions and programmes.

UNICEF’s Social Policy Specialist, Mr Isah Ibrahim, said the situation analysis for children would help the state address the problem of children living in poverty among other issues.

Ibrahim pointed out that children living in poverty experienced deprivation on material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop, and thrive.

He added that such conditions would not allow them to enjoy their rights, achieve full potentials and participate as equal members of the society.

“A larger proportion of children living in rural areas of Nigeria are multi dimensionally poor,  compared to children living in urban areas.

“At the regional level, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara present higher multidimensional poverty rates: 80.4 per cent, 74.9 per cent and 74.0 per cent respectively.

“This is in sharp contrast to children living in Edo and Lagos with the rates as low as 19.0 per cent and 17.3 per cent respectively.

“The situation analysis, therefore, will enable the Zamfara government to adequately plan effective interventions that will  improve the wellbeing of children and uninterrupted development,” he said.

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