2020 Child-sensitive Social Protection Implementation: UNICEF Pledges to Support Kaduna Govt

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

As part of commitment to ensure full implementation of child-sensitive social protection programmes in Kaduna in 2020, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday pledged to support the State Government implementation.

Dr Zakari Adam, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna stated this on the sideline of a one-day Kaduna State and UNICEF 2019 End of Year Review and Planning Meeting with relevant stakeholder.

Adam said that UNICEF would strongly continue to support the state government to design and implement social protection policies and programmes centred around children.

According to him, this will entail coming together to ensure that the whole budgeting system of the state on social intervention are children sensitive.

“We will work to ensure that from the family to community and all our institutions are aware of the challenges facing children and the need for children to access social basic services.”

He said that in 2019, the state with support from UNICEF has recorded significant progress in efforts to ensure that children access basic services for uninterrupted growth and development.

“In nutrition for example, we saw some reduction in the number of children exposed to malnutrition, as well as encouraging reduction in the prevalence of HIV and AIDS.

“In Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), we have seen huge number of communities satisfied open defecation free.

“We have equally recorded some progress in health programmes, particularly on immunisation and the fight against preventable diseases and major killers of our children,” he added.

The UNICEF Chief commended Kaduna state government for the commitment to addressing the plight of children in the state.

He said that UNICEF Kaduna Office is equally supporting Nasarawa, Niger and Kwara states, adding that Kaduna state had stood out in terms of commitment to address challenges affecting children.

“For example, in Child Protection, what took other states two years to achieve, we achieve in five months in Kaduna state.

“This is quite encouraging and a demonstration of the state political will to work toward improving the welfare of the children by providing holistic services to vulnerable children.

“We are on good track, but we need to speed up and fast track some aspect of our intervention for the good of the children,” he said.

He stressed that UNICEF and the state government would consolidate on the achievements and accelerate the progress for the benefit of women and children in the state in 2020.

He noted that UNICEF and the state government were investing resources to address children related issues but stressed the need for more investment to achieve greater result.

Earlier, Mr Thomas Gyang, Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission, thanked UNICEF for the tremendous support in improving child nutrition, access to clean water and capacity building of workers.

“UNICEF had equally been supporting us in developing social protection policy and child friendly community initiative, reducing maternal and infant mortality and prevalence of HIV/AIDs,” Gyang said.

Gyang, who was represented by the Director, Development Aid Coordination in the commission, Malam Salisu Lawal, said that the meeting was organised to review achievements and challenges and plan for better result in 2020.

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