The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has set new four-year targets for Nigeria.
Geoffrey Njoku, the communication specialist for UNICEF Nigeria, spoke about the targets at a two-day media dialogue held in Kano between May 29 and 30.
The event was themed ‘New Country Programme 2023-2027 and the States of Implementation of the Child Rights Law (2003) in States’.
Njoku said UNICEF plans to support over 10 million children to access formal and non-formal education by 2027.
He listed the targets to include: “Over one million additional children immunised (zero-dose), over 1,700 primary health care facilities in 14 states meet minimum standards, 50 million children aged 6 to 59 months receive Vitamin A twice a year, 10 million children access formal or non-formal education, 4.8 million children access learning materials and 21 states scale up foundational learning and 40 million children will have birth registration.”
Njoku added that UNICEF has reviewed its activities in the life of Nigerian children in the period between 2018 and 2023.
According to him, “30 million children were vaccinated through integrated campaigns against life-threatening diseases. 58 million were vaccinated against Polio, zero-doze strategy was achieved in 100 local councils for reaching undeserved children across 18 states while 23 million children also received two doses of Vitamin A in 2022.
7.4 million children under the age of five now have birth registration while 35 states have adopted the child rights law, including Kano which was adopted on May 26 this year, leaving Bauchi as the only state that has yet to adopt.
“2.8 million children living in conflict-affected areas also received psychological support and 1.5 million girls entered school, using a new evidence-based approach, while five million children benefitted from continued learning during COVID-19, using radio, TV and home-based material.
“25 million children were covered in the National Social Register, 20 million lived in certified free of open defecation communities, 2.4 million people accessed life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene services, 4 million internally displaced persons and host communities accessed primary health care and 600, 000 children aged 6 to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition were admitted for treatment, 1.3 million children living in conflict-affected areas accessed formal and non-formal education.”
Njoku said all geopolitical zones in Nigeria were covered, with a focus on 20 states, in addition to two nationwide programmes in eight field offices with the programmes focusing mainly on health, nutrition, education, child protection, WASH and social policy.