COVID-19: Angolan Government committed to Protect and Promote Child Rights
Angola among the countries which responded positively to UN Secretary-General’s call on countries to prioritize basic social services for children
LUANDA, 8th May 2020 - More than 160 Member States responded positively to the appeal made by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, to prioritize children’s education, food, health and safety amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The response to the appeal raised in the statement on the COVID-19 crisis and children’s rights issued last week is an initiative of the European Union, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) and Members of the Group of Friends of Children and the SDGs (GoF).
Governments commit to work together to protect every child and act to mitigate all the risks they face. Countries have reaffirmed that children should have access to inclusive and quality social services such as education, nutrition, health care and strengthening social protection system, during COVID-19 prevention and response.
“This is a universal crisis, and, for some children, the impact will be for life. We believe that this action will intensify international solidarity for children and humanity”, underlines Paolo Balladelli, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Angola.
The COVID-19 pandemic with unprecedented effects, when associated with the lack or inadequacy of basic services and poverty, worsens the situation of vulnerable children and families worldwide.
Due to the pandemic more than 800 million children are out of school. As health systems unfold to respond to COVID-19, babies and children lose their lives to preventable causes. Many children and families already living in poverty can see their condition plunge into greater difficulties due to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
Due to the present scenario Governments recognize that pandemic effects and the preventive measures taken, may pose a challenge to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring the full enjoyment of the rights of the child. Therefore, they reiterated commitment to leave no-one behind, particularly children.
In the Statement, to which Angola is also a signatory, countries commit to fully respect, promote and protect the rights of all children, reduce the negative impacts during and after the pandemic, as well as ensure respect for the best interests of the child while striving to take into account, where possible, children’s views.
"Through supporting this appeal from the United Nations, Government of Angola wants to reiterate that emergency situation will not make us relegate the ongoing commitments towards child protection and development in Angola", highlights Faustina Alves, Minister of Social Action, Family and Women Promotion (MASFAMU).
“The National Contingency Plan for Pandemic Control brings concrete actions that contribute to the implementation of several interventions that aim to ensure key social services for vulnerable children and families, such as health, child protection, education and protection social ", underlines the Minister.
“UNICEF has been supporting the efforts of the Government and providing supplies for the ongoing activities in Angola during the response to COVID-19, and welcomes the fact that the country is a signatory to the statement”, says Jean Francois Basse, UNICEF Interim Representative in Angola.
“Protection of the most vulnerable children and families is urgent and involves actions that must be adapted to their real needs and living conditions”, adds UNICEF´s Representative.
Among actions carried out by Government of Angola that aim to ensure the rights of the child are the following:
- disseminating of radio and tv lessons that are benefiting several children and adolescents from preschool to 9th grade ensuring the right to education;
- strengthening media awareness to promote dialogue among family to prevent and respond to violence against children;
- accelerating of the cash transfer program called, “Valor Criança”, which aims to benefit families with children under 5 years of age, within the scope of the Social Protection Support Project (APROSOC).
- creation of temporary reception spaces for children living in the street and provision of essential supplies for vulnerable families;
- and assisting children who are in the Reception Centers and in the Provisional Emergency Centers.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/angola.