A Word Alive Commission for Relief and Development (Wacrad) budget tracking process on child development and protection conducted between November and December 2019 in Mzimba has exposed poor funding to child care initiatives.
The process targeted government funds allocation towards early childhood development (ECD) programme and child protection in the past two fiscal years.
“For 2018/19 fiscal year, the M’mbelwa District Council had a total budget of K2.5 billion and out of it K4.5 million was allocated towards child protection and development.
“From the K4.5 million, about K1.1 million was allocated for ECD programmes across the district.
“In 2019/20, the council was allocated K2.4 billion and out of it, K4.2 million was allocated towards child development and protection activities, from which K800 000 was channelled towards ECD programmes,” reads the report in part.
In an interview after disseminating the findings to Child Protection and Development Committee on Wednesday, Wacrad programmes manager Harvey Munthali said the figures are shocking.
“Unless government increases funding towards child protection and development, our children will continue to face different challenges and abuses in communities,” he said.
Mzimba district child protection and development coordinator Humphreys Mwalughali admitted that his office receives “very minimal” funds for child care and protection.
“We usually rely on development partners for most activities because on our own we cannot do anything,” he said.