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Seventy Million Children likely to die by 2030 if Nations lack Developmental Goals, warns UNICEF

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Poor Kids. Image source: gogetfunding.com
  • UNICEF urges governments, donors and NGOs to focus on the most disadvantaged children and close the gaps 
  • The migration and refugee crisis affecting Europe is one example of how inequalities are fueling global instability
  • UNICEF is urging countries to develop national plans so they can meet the 2030 sustainable development agenda

UNICEF, UN children’s agency, had warned that about 70 million of people could die between 2016 to 2030 if there parents and government do not put in efforts to achieve their developmental goals.

In its annual State of the World’s Children report issued Tuesday, June 28, UNICEF urges governments, donors and NGOs to focus on the most disadvantaged children and close the gaps, giving all young people a better chance at a bright future.

UNICEF (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
UNICEF (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

“These vast inequities and dangers do more than violate the rights and imperil the futures of individual children,” says UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in the report. “They perpetuate inter-generational cycles of disadvantage and inequality that undermine the stability of societies and even the security of nations everywhere,” he added.

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The migration and refugee crisis affecting Europe is one example of how inequalities are fueling global instability, said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF deputy executive director.

“A combination of poor governance, conflict, but also inequality and inequity is fueling that instability, which is fueling that mass movement of people,” he said of the migrants on the move from North Africa.

Forsyth says the situation can be improved with small investments in health and education. “We could save up to 147 million children from death from under five [years old] child mortality, just with a 2 percent increase in expenditure in 74 countries.” That translates to about $30 billion a year.

UNICEF is urging countries to develop national plans so they can meet the ambitious targets they have committed to in the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

Africa struggling

The report raises the alarm for children in sub-Saharan Africa, where two out of three live in poverty and most have had less than four years of schooling.

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Conflict, corruption, poor governance and the effects of climate change are hindering sustainable progress on the sub-continent.

Poor Children in Africa(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Children in Africa. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

“In those places like DR Congo, like South Sudan, like the Central African Republic, where a combination of conflict and poor governance has meant that they haven’t kept up with the rest of Africa, we need to continue to invest in those places,” said UNICEF Program Director Ted Chaiban.

UNICEF predicted if the developmental goals are not met, around 35 million African children will die before attaining an age of five from preventable causes and those who survive will have poor primary school attendance and 9 out of ten will live in extreme poverty. (VOA)

ALSO READ:

  • AJ Krish

    It is not only the government but also the public who should work towards child nourishment. We see children on the roads, deprived of food,education and a house to live in.Yet we do nothing! It should start from the very bottom if these children are to be saved.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Children are the future, there should be something done to not let it happen

  • Aparna Gupta

    Children are the future of any nation. Africa must take the appropriate measures to save their future.

SHARE
  • AJ Krish

    It is not only the government but also the public who should work towards child nourishment. We see children on the roads, deprived of food,education and a house to live in.Yet we do nothing! It should start from the very bottom if these children are to be saved.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Children are the future, there should be something done to not let it happen

  • Aparna Gupta

    Children are the future of any nation. Africa must take the appropriate measures to save their future.

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African Nations Urge Government to Enforce Fairer Family Laws

The pact, known as the Maputo Protocol, came into force in 2005 and guarantees extensive rights in areas from protection against violence to economic empowerment

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family laws
FILE - A woman protests against underage marriage in Lagos, Nigeria, July 20, 2013. VOA

Women and girls in Africa are still being pushed into forced or early marriages, while those in unhappy unions face discrimination when seeking divorce, campaigners said on Tuesday, urging governments to enforce fairer family laws.

The Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) — a coalition of 50 groups — said while most nations had committed to a pan-African pact on women’s rights, states had failed to enforce laws relating to marriage, divorce, child maintenance and inheritance.

The pact, known as the Maputo Protocol, came into force in 2005 and guarantees extensive rights in areas from protection against violence to economic empowerment.

Anisah Ari from the Nigeria-based Women Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, a SOAWR member, said while African nations had taken steps in other areas such as tackling sexual violence, family laws were largely being ignored.

family laws
File: Sudanese Women carrying 50kg bag of grains. Wikimedia Commons

“While the Maputo Protocol affirms women’s rights to exercise self-determination and bodily autonomy — free from discrimination, coercion and violence — many African girls and women continue to bear the brunt of discriminatory family laws,” Ari told a news conference.

“For instance, despite the fact that women have a right to inherit their husbands’ properties after death, this is not always assured — leading to protracted legal battles.”

The SOAWR members, which come from 25 African countries, said many nations had enacted progressive family laws in line with the Maputo Protocol, but the laws were not being enforced.

Women’s contribution and access to familial property was rarely recognized during marital disputes, and women often faced an uphill struggle when seeking child maintenance, they added.

family laws
Women wear the Algerian flag during a protest in Algiers, April 26, 2019. VOA

The legally binding pact, lauded as the most progressive human rights instrument for women and girls in Africa, has been signed and ratified by 42 of the African Union’s 55 member states. Three countries — Botswana, Morocco and Egypt — have neither signed nor ratified it.

The SOAWR members — which come from countries such as Tunisia, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya — said addressing the protection and rights of women and girls in the family was the integral to the advancement of women.

ALSO READ: Africa: New Dresses, Youth Action – Ending Female Circumcision

“Family laws are key as the family unit is where the socialization of gender roles begins. It is where girls first learn their rights and roles in society,” said Violet Muthiga from Sauti Ya Wanawake, a Kenya-based women’s rights group.

“So if we can intervene at the family level to ensure they are protected and treated fairly, we can change perceptions and curb practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation — all of which happen with the family unit.” (VOA)