By Staff Writer
The United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF in collaboration with South Sudan Ministries of Finance and Planning, Gender, Child and Social Welfarehas on Tuesday launched the Situational Analysis report on children and women in South Sudan.
The report that covers 2018-2020 retroprovides key insights to promote and implement equity-sensitive policies, programmes and budget allocations.
“The Situation Analysis report analyses the child rights gaps that must be addressed and shed light on the specific sectors and policies that need to be strengthened and funded to ensure an equitable South Sudan for all its children.
“The report also stresses the importance of increased national budget allocations for key social sectors such as education and health,” said Ocum Genes Karlo, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
The document willguide the humanitarian and development actors in the country to build effective child friendly programmes that respond to the needs of the most vulnerable.
Benjamin Kilonzo, acting UNICEF Representative in South Sudan said they would prioritize crucial recommendations from the analysis in a bid to contribute to the sustainable changes the children in the country need urgently.
“It is very important that while UNICEF plans for the next country programmes for South Sudan as part of the upcoming UN Sustainable Cooperation Frameworkto support the National Development Strategy,” he said.
Salina Peter, the representative of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfaresaid the report was timely for the actors to intervene.
She revealed that the government was going to use the document to improve the life ofchildren, women and other vulnerable groups in the country.
The policy brief was developed through a collaborative process, according to the actors.
It was informed by deep and rich consultation process with various partners and stakeholders, including government representatives, UN agencies, non-governmental and civil society organizations, journalists and children themselves.
Authored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support and the participation of South Sudan’s government relevant ministries, presented an update of the situation of children and women in South Sudan.
It will also provide policy makers with crucial data and recommendations that will inform better planning for national health and development goals, particularly those related to children and women and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to a research, children and youth up to 25 years of age make up 63 percent of the population and they represent South Sudan’s highest natural resource.
Their aspirations, ideas and vision were captured well during the focus group discussions with youth and children, who were part of the external consultation process for this particular analysis.
The report gives an extensive overview of the status of the rights of children in South Sudan as well as highlights that one child out of ten does not reach their fifth birthday.
It also said that 2.8 million children are out of schools, and over half of all girls are married before they turn 18.
The report also includes a list of 16 concrete recommendations to make South Sudan more child friendly.
The report focuses on developments since 2017 when the last situation assessment was published; it examines the progress, challenges and opportunities, as well as the patterns of deprivation that children face, particularly those children at risk of being left behind.