United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has unveiled a new four-year programme focused on addressing challenges in the education and health sectors in the country.
The focus of the new country programme also included supporting Nigerian healthcare systems for children and women, promoting access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and increasing school enrolment.
The ‘New Country Programme 2023-2027 and the States of Implementation of the Child Rights Law (2003) in States’ were unveiled by Communication Specialist for UNICEF Nigeria, Geoffrey Njoku, at a two-day media dialogue held in Kano.
The workshop also looked at strengthening the implementation of the Children’s Act which is presently operating in thirty-four states in the country.
Njoku said the UN agency’s new programme was aimed at working further to guarantee the rights of every child in Nigeria to survive, thrive, learn, and be protected and develop their full potentials.
Njoku noted that the programme targeted children’s freedom from poverty and ensured they lived in a safe and sustainable climate and environment.
For example, in the education sector, UNICEF is hoping to attract 10 million more children to access formal or non-formal education, 4.8 million children access learning materials and 21 states scale up foundational literacy and numeracy.
The target included making 22 states use integrated data systems for education planning and 12 states with improved adequacy, efficiency and equity in education finance.
In the health sector, UNICEF’s objectives within the four years included health system strengthening, improved health leadership and governance, and affordability/universal health coverage.
The organisation said the new programme intended to increase vaccination coverage and reduce inequalities, boost vaccine logistics management, eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, and sustain Nigeria’s polio-free status.