UNICEF Renews Partnership With Kwara State Government

 

By: Our Correspondent

ILORIN, North-Central, Nigeria – The UN Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) has revealed that it has renewed partnership with the Kwara Stat Government in line with its implementation strategy and programme document for 2018 to 2022.

Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, Dr. Zakari Adam who disclosed this in Ilorin on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, during UNICEF and Kwara partnership meeting, explained that the organization was in the state to obtain presentations of the various problems affecting children after it left in 2013.

According to him, UNICEF Field Office in Kaduna has the mandate to support programming in Kwara, Kaduna, Nassarawa and Niger states.

He said that UNICEF was meeting with various stakeholders in Kwara so as to have an overview of the situation of women and children as well as the existing programming priorities by the implementing partners.

Dr. Adam explained that the key programming areas of focus would be in health and HIV, water sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, basic education, child protection and social policy; pointing out that the role of UNICEF was not to replace the state and government responsibilities but to assist and complement them.

He also said that in spite of efforts by the humanitarian organization to help women and children globally, it also has its own challenges such as dearth of resources and long distance operation.

Speaking earlier, the state’s Commissioner for Planning and Economic Development, Alhaji Wasiu Odewale, said Kwara state was ready to partner UNICEF again in support of various programmes targeted at children’s welfare; and expressed optimism that the two-day meeting would help in ascertaining the challenges and identifying directions that could bring interventions to areas needed.

The Commissioner, however, identified lack of counterpart funding to assist donor agencies as a factor hampering efforts to sustain their efforts in the state.

He observed that Kwara state had not done well in that regard, adding that this was an opportunity for the state to access funding in order to assist and complement efforts by UNICEF.

Similarly, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Mr. Tayo Oyelowo, commended UNICEF for its age-long assistance and intervention programmes in the area of health.

He said the previous exit of UNICEF from Kwara state was due to the perception that the state had achieved impressive indices, with such intervention programmes diverted to other states in need of assistance.

Oyelowo, however, disclosed that the situation was not as rosy as it appeared and the state had been battling its challenges; adding that with UNICEF’s return, there was hope of a turn-around in the state as the organization was renowned for capacity building.

Ministries of Health, Education, Water Resources, Planning and Economic Development, Justice and Women Affairs as well as the National Orientation Agency, (NOA) were also represented at the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

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