First Lady and Save the Children Endorse Report
LUSAKA, Zambia – UNICEF launched its most recent Progress for Children report in Zambia at a special event at a high school in a Lusaka compound. Zambia’s First Lady, Madame Thandiwe Banda, and Marc Nosbach., Save the Children’s Country Director, also attended the ceremony and made strong commitments for the country to reach the Millennium Development Goals with equity.
“The report we are launching today spotlights the significant strides that each country, including Zambia, has made towards meeting the MDGs. This progress is being achieved thanks in large part to the collaborative efforts of governments; donors; civil society; families, including children themselves; and to the many heroes in the field who risk their lives to protect children the world over,” said Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa, UNICEF Zambia Representative. “Thankfully we live in a nation that is celebrated for its commitment to peace, but I refer to colleagues working today in Pakistan, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and the West Bank.
“UNICEF argues in the report that the progress made in individual countries, Zambia included, is uneven in many key areas. In fact, compelling data suggests that in the global push to achieve the MDGs by 2015, we are leaving behind millions of the world’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and marginalized children,” said Dr. Uhaa. “Progress for Children: Meeting the MDGs with Equity presents evidence of disparities across a range of key indicators, including between developing and industrial nations, between richest and poorest quintiles within nations, between rural and urban populations, and between boys and girls.”
During her remarks to an assembly of students and faculty at Kamulanga High School in Chawama Compound, Mrs. Banda endorsed UNICEF’s renewed focus on equity, and praised the Ministry of Education for supporting a centre of excellence for learning achievement in one of the capital’s poorest districts.
“This school is a model for what we can do across the country, by focusing our efforts on the most vulnerable,” said Mrs. Banda.
Kamulanga High School has more than 2,000 students and nearly 50 percent gender ratio among the student body, one of the highest rates in the country. With support of the Forum for African Women in Education and the private sector, nearly 70 percent of the students are full or partial scholarships.
“We believe this study’s findings can have a real effect on both global and local thinking about how we are pursuing reaching the MDGs, and about human development more generally. Let us all work together to reach the most unreachable and reach the most in need.
I reaffirm today that UNICEF will continue to support the Government of the Republic of Zambia in its efforts to improve the lives of millions of vulnerable children in Zambia and that we will work with you to put the spotlight on equity,” said Dr. Uhaa.