‘Child protection financing critical’

By Abigirl Tembo

GOVERNMEMT says it is open for collaboration with development partners to meet the needs of vulnerable children through access to education and health services.

A high level policy dialogue on Child protection financing in Zimbabwe this Wednesday saw Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima calling for collective action from partners and society to close funding gaps in the wake of revelations that child protection remains one of the most underfunded sectors in humanitarian action.

Even though government has increased the resources into social protection, it cannot not do this alone, the resources are always limited, for example with the Basic Education Module (BEAM), it requires a lot of money as the figures continue to increase. No country which is serious about its future can ignore the education of its children.

“Therefore, we need all the resources that we can garner. Prevention is better that cure. We need community child care workers to give us early warnings, we also need the support of our development partners. As government we are very open to collaboration with development partners,” he said.

 “The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to taking all practical measures to provide all the necessary measures to protect all children. We always strive to prioritise the welfare of children,” said Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Representative, Mr Takavarasha.

Development partners challenged government to invest more in the protection of children.

“I strongly feel that governments have a moral duty to put their money where their mouths are. The pathway to building a nation is through capacitating children. More attention and resources are needed for child protection services. Government sets the tone through policies which prioritise children’s rights, noted Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Margaret Verwijk.

The High Level Policy Dialogue on Child Protection financing was also attended by the Ambassador of Sweden Her Excellency Ms Asa Person, UNICEF country representative Dr Tajudeen Oyewale and other child rights organisations.