Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Mary Navicha has said the new Children’s Policy will enhance coordination in the provision of children services at national, district and community levels.
The minister was speaking on Wednesday during the launch of the policy at Njereza Primary School ground in Chikwawa District, which was aligned with the commemoration of the Day of the African Child which falls on June 16.
She said: “Children in the country face many challenges. The focus for this year is on protecting children’s rights in humanitarian crisis situations.
“As duty bearers we need to accelerate and direct all our collective energies to child protection especially the girl child from sexual harassment which impede girls socio-economic development, abducting and killing of children with albinism.”
This year’s theme is Humanitarian Actions in Africa: Children Rights First.
Chikwawa District Council director of planning and development Douglas Moffat said 25 000 children in the district were affected by the Cyclone Idai-related floods in March, 10 000 of whom were school-going.
Moffat, who represented the district commissioner at the event, commended government for relocating flood survivors to upland areas, but said the areas are in need of facilities such as schools and potable water.
On his part, Youth Network and Counselling director Mcbain Mkandawire urged government to implement the policy effectively.
Prior to the launch, Navicha held a press briefing in Lilongwe on Tuesday where World Vision Malawi (WVM) advocacy and communications director Charles Gwengwe pledged the organisation will continue to protect the well-being of children in emergencies.
The Day was instituted in 1991, by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in memory of the June 16 1976 massacre of children during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa.