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Maintaining support to children: UNICEF presents to Parliament

UNICEF South Africa/2017/Reddy
© UNICEF South Africa/2017/Reddy
Country Representative Herve de Lys (L) and Social Policy Specialist Russel Wildeman in Parliament.

Cape Town, 1 November 2017: “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Beginning his address with this quote by African American abolishionist Frederick Douglass, UNICEF Country Representative Herve de Lys, addressed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance. This quote is critical when considering that one-third of the global child population will be living in Africa by the year 2050.

Invited by this key Committee to address Parliament, following the recent Mid-term Budget Policy Statement by the Minister of Finance, Mr de Lys and the UNICEF South Africa Social Policy Specialist, Russell Wildeman, commended both Parliament and the Government of South Africa for it’s commitment to children. 

UNICEF South Africa/2017/Reddy
© UNICEF South Africa/2017/Reddy
UNICEF Country Representative Herve de Lys being interviewed by journalist Gaye Davis in Parliament.

The submission by UNICEF reminded parliamentarians that in the current economic context, where resources are potentially under constraint, maintaining spending on child-focused programmes, while strengthening the quality and timelines of services for children, is critical. The UNICEF presentation noted that these globally-admired programmes allow for more children to be lifted out of poverty while achieving long-term social and economic transformation as premised in the National Development Plan.

During the discussion period with Committee members, Mr de Lys noted that UNICEF is optimistic and confident that child rights will continue to be a high national priority so that not one of the 18.5 million children in South Africa is left behind. 

Download the remarks by UNICEF Representative Herve de Lys [PDF]



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