National Forum on Children
Prospects for the future in the current challenging context
For the last five years, a short-spaced chain of economic, climatic, security and health shocks have disrupted positive trends in human and social development in Mozambique, highlighting prevailing structural and geographical disparities and exposing multiple and deep vulnerabilities of Mozambican families and children. The outlook for Mozambique in the next five years remains challenging. Slow economic growth projected for 2021 coupled with the uncertainly of the COVID-19 recovery, continuation of conflict in Cabo Delgado and increased risks of natural hazards will likely have a knock-down effect on an already strained fiscal space available for investment in social sectors and child wellbeing.
Despite these challenges, there are opportunities to change the course. Similar to other countries, positive initiatives have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, including digitization of services and increased investment in social services. Policy decisions, innovations and investments in the next five years will determine whether Mozambique can achieve the robust SDG targets.
As UNICEF Mozambique embarks on the development of the next country programme to support the government to accelerate action towards the SDGs, UNICEF calls for a public debate on the prospects for Mozambique’s children based on a review of the national context during this time of global crisis and heightened global, regional and national uncertainty.
The National Forum on Children will bring together experts, practitioners, policy makers and children themselves to share knowledge, lessons learnt and action-oriented policy recommendations that will help elevate child wellbeing. The evidence presented, and recommendations made, are expected to contribute to policy dialog between the Government of Mozambique and the international community working on improving child outcomes in the country. They will also help inform the next cooperation framework between the Government of Mozambique and UNICEF for 2022-2026.
The forum will share knowledge and stimulate public debate on the following overriding questions:
- How will emerging trends and issues affect the wellbeing of children and youth in Mozambique, today and a decade from now?
- What are the concrete actions by the Government, business sector and other key actors that can improve the lives of 14 million children, particularly the most vulnerable ones, in the short, medium and long-term?
The forum will consist of presentations from national and international experts in thematic areas, civil society organisations, practitioners representing different sectors, donor organisations and relevant UN agencies active in Mozambique. Particular attention will be given to engage meaningfully with young people. Each thematic area of the forum will be organised in collaboration with a relevant leading agency. Organisers will strongly encourage participation of Mozambique’s provincial partners and representatives.