UNICEF AND GOVERNMENT OF SUDAN DECLARES THE RIGHT OF EVERY SUDANESE CHILD TO LIFE, EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT A TOP PRIORITY
UNICEF EXECUTIVE BOARD DELEGATION VISITS SUDAN 27 APRIL TO 2 MAY 2014
Khartoum, 1 May 2014 - From 27 April to 2 May 2014, a delegation from UNICEF’s Executive Board comprising delegates form Albania, Denmark, Dibouti and the Netherlands has been visiting Khartoum, Northern State and North Darfur. The objective was to see and experience UNICEF’s Country Program of Cooperation with the Government of Sudan, discuss the impact and results of UNICEF’s work with government and non-governmental counterparts at national, local and community levels within the broad context of national development priorities, the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and other relevant development assistance frameworks. UNICEF’s country program, covering 2013-2016, is designed to foster sustainable improvement in the lives of all children in Sudan.
In Khartoum, delegates met with Ministers or high-level representatives of Education; Foreign Affairs; Health; Finance and National Economy; Welfare and Social Security; the National Council for Child Welfare and the Humanitarian Aid Commission to exchange views on the situation of children in Sudan and the opportunities for increased and targeted investment in commodities, protection and social services to benefit children across the country; especially the poorest and most vulnerable ones among them. While in Khartoum, the delegation also had the opportunity to meet with high-level officials of the UN, and representatives of civil society as well as the private sector.
In Dongola, Northern State, the delegation visited a state hospital offering routine vaccination services and counselling of new mothers on the Saleema initiative aiming to leave their newborn baby girls uncut and let them grow up without undergoing female genital cutting. To get a sense of the expanding child protection system in Sudan, delegates also visited a Family and Child Protection Unit (FCPU) of the police, an organizational setup recognized as international best practice in child protection.
In El Fasher, North Darfur, delegates were taken to visit one of the established camps for internally displaced people (IDPs), Zam Zam, to witness the services provided to children and families sheltered there. The delegation met the North Darfur authorities and UNAMID to hear about the prospects for peace and development in the Darfur region.
Statement by UNICEF’s Executive Board delegation:
While progress has been made over past decades, it is also clear that too many children in Sudan are still not benefitting from quality basic social and protection services.
Too many children grow up in Sudan with the odds stacked against them, owing to insufficient investment in children’s services or inadequate knowledge about positive child-rearing practices. Chronic and acute conflict severely compounds the panorama for children, robbing them of their childhood; jeopardizing their chances of building a future for themselves; and depriving the country of much needed energy from the growing generations in Sudan.
For the sake of Sudan’s children, parties must put an end to every conflict in the country and come together to build a future for all and by all.
A strong foundation for Sudan’s future should begin with adequate, targeted investment in children, especially the most vulnerable. It should build on achievements made and aim to be sustainable.