Local Plans of Action for children in Serbia
Kragujevac, Sjenica and Pirot: Three Municipalities fit for Children
Belgrade, 15 March 2005: Three Serbian municipalities, Kragujevac, Pirot and Sjenica launch their Plans of Action for children today – the first local Plans of Action for Children in the country’s history. Launched by the Council for Child Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbian City of Kragujevac, the municipalities of Pirot and Sjenica, UNICEF and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) the plans aim to put children at the top of the local development agenda.
The three municipalities have drawn up their local Plans of Action in full consultation with local communities. The plans define policies and priority actions for 2005 to 2010, with a special emphasis on the poorest and most excluded children and families.
“Combating poverty requires real investment in children,” says Ann-Lis Svensson, UNICEF Representative in Serbia and Montenegro. “A local Plan of Action is a powerful tool for sustainable, child-centred development and can help to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty. We are confident that the plans launched today will have a real and lasting impact on the lives of children and their families.”
The municipalities of Pirot, Sjenica and Kragujevac have examined the situation of local children and families in detail and have drawn up concrete development plans to use local resources for the benefit of children. They have also established systems to monitor progress for children through DevInfo, a software to process integrated data for access by the community. Local DevInfo databases will help Municipalities and communities monitor the impact of policies, multi-sectoral strategies and specific local initiatives.
UNICEF has provided technical support, while CIDA has contributed 1.2 million Canadian Dollars to strengthen the Poverty Reduction Strategy process in Serbia and Montenegro.
The local Plans of Action build on the national Plan of Action for Children in Serbia, adopted in February 2004, and feed into the national Poverty Reduction Strategy, as well as efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the goals of A World Fit for Children.
For more information:Jadranka Milanovic, Communication Officer, UNICEF Belgrade, Tel: (+ 381 11) 3602 100