UNICEF Graça Machel in Namibia

07 Dec 2016 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 07 DEC (NAMPA) – UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern & Southern Africa, Graça Machel is in Namibia to review Government’s progress on implementing children’s rights and Early Childhood Development (ECD).
Machel and a delegation from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister (PM), Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila upon their arrival on Wednesday.
Machel said her delegation would, amongst others, assess nutrition in ECD programmes and issues pertaining to adolescent, maternal and neo-natal health.
“A child may be well nourished but if the intellect and other areas of development are not being enhanced, then we will not have a harmonious and integrated way of how these children can have a really good start,” she said.
The delegation will take account of investment done to eliminate stunting and to provide opportunities for children by expanding ECD programmes.
The Mozambican politician said inclusivity in nutrition programmes during ECD is important because all children should be allowed to develop their imagination before they attend primary school.
She said Africa, at times, is understood as a continent that does not meet any of the international community pledges like the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
However, it is important to find those with the political will, and those who can allocate resources properly to meet obligations to children and who will become beacons of saying that not everything is a failure in Africa.
The UNICEF delegates will also look at Namibia’s efforts to achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Machel applauded the Namibian Government for creating opportunities for women of talent, knowledge and expertise to occupy their rightful places in society.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said while healthcare and adolescence are areas of high priority and the country has managed to succeed in many areas of development, Namibia is struggling with human development.
“Poverty levels are too high for a country at the level of income that we have achieved, having graduated from low-middle income country to an upper-middle income country, but the poverty and unemployment remaining stubbornly high and women and children are the most vulnerable and this is becoming a threat to stability - socially and politically,” she said.
The UNICEF and Machel delegation is expected to leave Namibia on Friday.