UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of The Gambia, unveils its new programme for children in the country to donors

The theme for the event was “The Gambia of 2028 – what is your dream?”

18 March 2024
Event participants: youth, representatives of UNICEF, the Government of The Gambia and state governments
UNICEF/Alhagie Manka

Banjul, 18 March 2024 – In a show of solidarity for children in The Gambia attaining their rights and supporting strengthening child well-being initiatives, UNICEF Gambia hosted a momentous event, drawing the attention and support of donor and government representatives.

The event provided an opportunity to listen to the voices of children and their opinions on what they want The Gambia to look like over the next five years. The event also showcased UNICEF's ongoing efforts and plans for the coming years to uplift the lives of children across the country.

During the event, Ms. Nafisa Binte Shafique, UNICEF The Gambia Representative presented a comprehensive overview of the organization’s Programme for Children 2024-2028, highlighting programme goals that are fully aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and with The Gambia’s National Development Plan:

  1. every child survives and thrives,
  2. every child learns and develops,
  3. every child is protected from violence, exploitation, and harmful practices, and has a legal identity,
  4. every child lives free from poverty.

UNICEF Representative also presented four cross-cutting areas known as the “Drivers for Change” that are at the core of all UNICEF’s work: empowering adolescents, achieving gender equity, building climate resilience and ensuring transformative social behaviour change.

Recent analysis found that 9 in 10 children in The Gambia are poor and deprived in at least one dimension, said Ms. Nafisa Binte Shafique. That’s why UNICEF has multiple sector-based approach to address pressing issues affecting children, such as education, protection and poverty. Our goals are ambitious, but we cannot achieve anything alone, she added.

On behalf of the Secretary General, Alieu Loum, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service expressed gratitude to UNICEF for the excellent collaboration with the Gambian Government and recognized UNICEF’s hard work in ensuring rights of children are achieved. PS Loum highlighted the importance of the partnership in ensuring significant advancement in efforts to improve the well-being of children and communities in The Gambia. He also emphasized that the Programme for Children was developed in collaboration and with extensive consultation of all key actors, and that UNICEF can count on the support of the Gambian Government in its implementation.

The representatives of the governments of USA, Germany, UK, Spain, and the representative of the Delegation of the European Union to The Gambia, graced the occasion with their presence, underscoring their commitment to the cause of child rights and development in the country. The presence of esteemed diplomatic representatives underscored the international community's collective resolve to provide quality education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection services and to prioritize the well-being of children, particularly children with disabilities and the most vulnerable ones. Their active engagement and support signal a collaborative effort to ensure that every child in The Gambia receives the necessary care, protection, and opportunities for a brighter future. To achieve UNICEF’s vision for the children in The Gambia by 2028 the organization is seeking $27million in funding from its partners.

Speech by the youth representative of the Children National Assembly of The Gambia
UNICEF/Alhagie Manka

Putting children at the centre of UNICEF’s work

Putting children at the centre of the discussion, the event also hosted representatives from the Children National Assembly of The Gambia. This inspiring group of young people are passionate advocates for their communities and are dedicated to ensuring that duty bearers are held accountable for the rights of children and adolescents across the country. The young individuals eagerly voiced their visions for The Gambia in 2028 and emphasized the steps necessary to achieve those dreams.

The guests present at the event emphasized that the future belongs to young people and that they are the agents of change and as such their voices and aspirations should always be taken into consideration.

In conclusion, the event served as a significant platform for stakeholders to come together and reaffirm their commitment to the protection, well-being and development of children in The Gambia. With UNICEF's new Programme for Children 2024-2028, in partnership with the Government of The Gambia and supported by various donors, there is renewed optimism for a brighter future where every child in The Gambia has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.

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About UNICEF Gambia’s Programme for Children 2024-2028

UNICEF Gambia’s vision for 2024-2028 is to see accelerated and holistic progress in the attainment of every right, for every child. UNICEF will apply a life-cycle approach to ensure every child is able to survive, thrive, learn, be protected and be free from poverty. This approach is grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and fully aligned with The Gambia’s National Development Plan.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/6zaTXZMmXFo

Media contacts

Monika Kacprzak
Communication Officer
UNICEF The Gambia
Tel: +220 3303087

About UNICEF

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/gambia.

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