UNICEF representative Moshiri engages Mthuli Ncube over children’s issues

Staff Writer

UNITED Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) country representative for Zimbabwe, Leylee Moshiri Friday met the country’s Finance Minister and discussed issues concerning the embattled nation’s children.

The closed door meeting’s deliberations were not shared with the media, however a brief statement issued after the meeting confirmed there were discussions.
“We had a fruitful discussion with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube focusing on UNICEF’s activities on Public Finance for Children, Education Sector Financing and key challenges facing the social sector in Zimbabwe,” said the statement

Frantic efforts to get finer details from both UNICEF Zimbabwe and Ncube by Humanitarian Post were fruitless.

However, opinion leaders in children’s issues speculated that the meeting may have been prompted by the dire straits the Zimbabwean economy is going through which has pushed Zimbabwean children into poverty.

A recent UNICEF and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency study shows high levels of privation in rural areas, where 76.3% of children live in abject poverty suggesting most children do not have enough food to eat.
Humanitarian organisations have warned that if nothing is done to address food security issues in Zimbabwe, child poverty will escalate further.

“In rural areas, all land use areas have [a] high prevalence of poor children, but communal and resettlement areas are slightly worse; urban areas in rural provinces also have high rates of child poverty,” said the report.

Child poverty is more prevalent in Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Matabeleland North.

Moshiri told The Guardian recently that the country’s government to monitor child poverty.
“Unicef calls on the government of Zimbabwe to recognise child poverty as a national policy priority and protect children from its most devastating effects throughout its reform agenda,” said Moshiri.

“We hope that our support for the country’s efforts to assess and report on monetary and multidimensional child poverty measurements will inform a national policy framework for poverty reduction that has children at its centre, as part of the 2030 agenda,” she said.

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