UNICEF congratulates Montenegro on investing in children in the new budget
UNICEF congratulates Montenegro on adopting a national budget for 2021 which, despite the socio-economic crisis, includes funding for essential investments in children and families
PODGORICA, 18 JUNE 2021 – UNICEF has congratulated Montenegro’s government and parliament on their adoption of a national budget for 2021 which, despite the socio-economic crisis caused by the pandemic, includes funding for essential investments in children and families. The introduction of free textbooks for primary school students and the adoption of a universal child allowance for children aged 0–6 is a solid step in the right direction. Much more is still needed in order to support all children in need and their families and it is important that all reforms are evidence-based and fiscally sustainable.
UUNICEF commends the commitment of the Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare to ensuring funding for essential services for the most vulnerable children, such as day-care centres for children with disabilities and the ‘Family Associate’ service that strengthens the biological family in order to prevent the separation of children from their families in case of a crisis. UNICEF encourages the government to ensure sustainable financing of these critical services in future budget planning and stands ready to provide support in this process.
In Montenegro, at least one out of every three children is at risk of poverty. The socio-economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has certainly increased this number. Therefore, ensuring that every child and family has access to good quality health, social and child protection, education, sports and culture is now more important than ever for mitigating the impact of the crisis.