LUSAKA, 19 November 2018 – The UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Ms. Leila Pakkala, arrives in Lusaka this morning on a two-day trip to the Republic of Zambia to commemorate World Children’s Day (20 November) and the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
During her stay, she will speak at the opening of Zambia’s first ever Sanitation Summit (19-21 November), which aims to galvanise support to end open defecation and improve sanitation and hygiene services for all. She will also pay a courtesy call to the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, Ms. Inonge Wina, to discuss nutrition and early childhood development, and take part in a high-level visit with the Minister of Health to one of the health centres supported by the European Union and United Nations under the Millennium Development Goal initiative (MDGi).
“It’s fantastic to be with children and young people in Zambia for World Children’s Day, which is a day to advocate and raise awareness so that every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential,” said Ms. Pakkala. “The reality is that despite tremendous progress over the past decades, millions of children remain unschooled, unprotected and uprooted.”
In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, UNICEF is organising a three-day youth engagement workshop with sixty children and young people from across Zambia to discuss issues around education, skills training, the ‘youth bulge’, and finding a voice. As part of this, on 19 November the children will run a ‘takeover’ event at the National Assembly of Zambia in collaboration with the Parliamentary Caucus for Children.
Separately, major media outlets are also taking part in World Children’s Day to boost the profile of children and young people.
Zambia is a youthful country with 82% of the population aged below 35 years, and 52.5% of the total population under 18.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Zambia, visit www.unicef.org/zambia.