The United Nations International Children’s Fund has urged the government to invest more funds in the health and education sector.
The call was made today during the celebrations to commemorate the UN children’s health agency turning 75 years. The agency was set up on December 11, 1946, after the second world war to help children who were affected during the war.
According to the UNICEF country representative Dr. Munir Safieldin, more investments need to be made in these sectors to enable the continuity of services.
He says during the Covid-19 outbreak, the country was forced to redirect funds to respond to the pandemic.
This according to Dr. Safieldin left other health sectors like routine vaccination, child nutrition, and other sectors underfunded.
According to Dr. Safieldin, due to the cuts in programme budgets to address COVID-19, polio was later detected in the country because routine immunization was disorganized.
In the financial year 2019/2020, the allocation in the health sector from the national budget was decreased by 2.2 billion. In the 2020/2021 financial year, the health sector budget was further cut by 1.5 billion.
As the country prepares to re-open schools, more investment will be needed to make sure that learning institutions are ready to receive learners. He says investments in human resources like teachers might be needed in the long run.
UNICEF has allocated more than 80 million shillings in the recently launched National Campaign to End Defilement, Teenage Pregnancies and Marriages.
The campaign was launched by the First lady Janet Museveni who also doubles as the Minister for Education and Sports, aiming at giving girls who might have conceived during the COVID-19 lockdown a second chance to go back to school.
Martin Kiiza, the acting executive director of the National Children Authority says the government needs to invest in such projects.
“Such campaigns are important because they will enable children to get back to the classrooms. We need such campaigns also targeting boys because many of them will need to be lured back into school,” he said. URN