Launch of Innocenti Social Monitor 2006 – Macedonia alarmed
Skopje, October 18 - The UNICEF country office in Skopje today launched the Innocenti Social Monitor 2006 – Understanding Child Poverty in South Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States using the opportunity to highlight the deteriorating situation in the country’s health and education sectors.
Participants – who included senior government officials, representatives from the donor community, civil servants and the media - were alarmed by the countries indicators showing an increase in infant and child mortality rates, high maternal mortality rate, very low access for pre-school education and decline of the quality of education.
"The future of the region depends on a healthy and educated generation" - UNICEF Country Representative, Ms. Hongwei Gao
During her address, Ms. Hongwei Gao, UNICEF Country Representative, commended the Government on their commitment to increase public budget allocation to education to 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however called on the government and the international community to increase their support to social sector development and to children in particular to address these issues.
“The future of the region depends on a healthy and educated generation, which will require a better use of resources and more generous support from the international community. Children’s poverty needs to be addressed in order to reduce the probability of them remaining poor as adults and to avoid the transfer of poverty from generation to generation,” said Ms. Gao.