UNICEF welcomes President’s commitment to support and uplift status of women and children
9 February 2007 - UNICEF South Africa today welcomed the commitments and pledges made by President Thabo Mbeki in his State of Nation address. UNICEF was particularly encouraged by the President’s statement on strategies to support and uplift the status of children, women and the poor people of South Africa.
“The President’s resolve and promise to enhance and expand strengthened social security and safety nets for the poor and vulnerable is commendable and heartening,” said Macharia Kamau, UNICEF South Africa Country Representative, in a statement from Cape Town.
“In particular, UNICEF welcomes the President’s commitment to expand the beneficiaries of the child support grant from 0-14 to 0-17 years. Equally significant is the recognition of the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) and the imperative of investing in ECD through the Extended Public Works Program (EPWP)”, the statement said.
Also noteworthy, is the Government’s resolution to expand non-fee paying schools, in order to expand the opportunities for all children. In this regard, it is hoped that special attention will be given to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s), to take advantage of the basic human right for all children within a free and democratic state.
“The President is determined to fight the scourge of crime in South Africa in no uncertain terms, especially with regard to its impact on women and children. His characterization of the situation of violence against women and children as ‘unacceptable’ is consistent with UNICEF’s stated views on this distressing trend in South Africa’s society”, said Mr. Kamau.
UNICEF would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the President, Government and people of South Africa in their effort to enhance the situation of women and children, and in confronting developmental challenges that face this nation during its second decade of freedom.