Mozambique, 7 August 2014: Situation Analysis of Children released today
Maputo, 7 August 2014. In an event chaired by Mr. Virgílio Mateus, Vice Minister of Women and Social Action, UNICEF Mozambique launched the Situation Analysis of Children in Mozambique today. The report, forming a central function of UNICEF’s mandate, heralds the progress made on child survival, development and protection, outlines the remaining challenges, and points the way to possible solutions and priority actions.
“Our country has made significant progress on key issues related to the well-being of children in recent years,” said Vice Minister Virgílio Mateus. “But as we move into the next phase of our development, we will need to redouble our efforts to make sure all our children enjoy the realization of their rights. Thanks to this analysis, we have a blueprint for the future.”
Highlighting the importance of investing more and investing better in children, the UNICEF report takes stock of the development of children’s situation in the country in recent years, taking note of improved child survival rates, access to primary education, increased coverage of HIV testing and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, as well as progress made with respect to access to drinking water from improved sources and children’s basic rights.
The Situation Analysis also discusses the areas where more work will be required, such as reducing geographic inequalities, controlling chronic malnutrition, improving maternal and neonatal mortality rates, improving net school attendance and the quality of education, as well as addressing child marriage among others. In doing so, it relies not only on an extensive set of evidence but also the opinion of the leaders of the society and the children themselves.
“Financing public services for children is not a cost, it is an investment in the future,” said UNICEF Representative Dr. Koen Vanormelingen, who, in his presentation today, pointed out the decline in the share of social sectors in government expenditure as an overall challenge, which the Situation Analysis also discusses.
The analysis also presents the estimated investments required in Health, Education, Social Protection and Water and Sanitation in order to sustain progress and deal with the remaining challenges confronting Mozambique’s children. At least 40% of government budget or more should be dedicated to basic social services, if the country is to consolidate gains and continue improving rights of children to survival, development and protection.
The reports conclude by recommending to consolidate progress, reduce geographic and income inequalities of access, accelerate implementation of interventions addressing areas registering little or no progress, increase investments for children and improve capacities in low-performing areas.
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All publications available online: http://sitan.unicef.org.mz