The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) says it wants a speedy assent to the National Children’s Commission Bill which was passed in Parliament on March 7 this year.
The establishment of the commission, if put into effect, will enhance coordination and cooperation among government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and other organisations that deliver children’s services.
In a statement dated 4 April 2019, Unicef describes the commission as beneficial in that it will put children’s interests on the public agenda, encourage MDAs and non-governmental agencies to co-ordinate their efforts as well as promote better laws, policies and children’s services.
Unicef Malawi representative Johannes Wedenig is quoted in the statement as having said they believe the National Children’s Commission will help monitor and advocate for increased investment in children.
He says: “Children constitute over half of Malawi’s population and the demographics justify paying attention to their needs and that includes a dedicated independent coordination and oversight body that looks into children’s issues.”
According to Wedenig, at $0.014 (about K100) per child per year, total visible budget allocations to child protection are insufficient to effectively deliver quality and sustainable child protection services to all children in the country.
The statement adds that an estimated 8.9 million of the country’s 17.5 million population are under 18 years of age, making it one of the youngest populations in Africa.