Countries of West and Central Africa



A word from the UNICEF Representative

UNICEF/Togo/Julie PudlowskiTogo’s development indicators are shocking.
One in eight children will not reach its fifth birthday, and while initial school enrollment figures are high, the number of children who drop out because their parents cannot afford to educate them is unacceptable. The number of children forced to work in exploitative and dangerous conditions is not just intolerable but heart-wrenching.

81.2% of Togo’s rural population lives below the poverty line (on less than 2U$/day) making it one of the world’s poorest countries. Some 49.5% of that population is under 18 years of age, but they are over represented in the poorest regions and strata of the population. We cannot ignore the survival, development and protection needs of the children of Togo.

UNICEF works with the Government of Togo to:

  1. Strengthen policy making and help build legal frameworks that address children’s rights
  2. Ensure basic and essential services reach vulnerable populations
  3. Ensure that where possible appropriate resources are allocated to the survival and development of children, and to protect children and women from violence and exploitation.

Development aid to Togo was stopped in 1992 as a result of poor governance and human rights abuses. However major steps towards a return to good governance, including free and fair legislative elections in 2007 mean donors are returning to the country.  However, an entire generation of children has suffered the impact of deterioration of basic services and increased poverty.

The country is at a key moment in its history. Another generation of children cannot be sacrificed to no or poor education and health care, exploitation and abuse. National and international partners have a unique opportunity to ensure the health, education and social services for children in need.

During the next five years, UNICEF aims to assist the Governement to strengthen its capacity to provide basic quality services, and to ensure that children are firmly placed at the heart of government policies and budgets- but we cannot work alone.

We aim to dramatically improve lives of children in Togo, but this an only be achieved through sustained partnerships, governmental and international donor support. Please help us to make the difference.

 Una McCauley, UNICEF Representative in Togo.
   May 2008.


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