UNICEF pledges support to Zambia, as drought impacts children’s welfare, quality of life


The drought situation in Zambia has exacerbated issues such as child labour, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse, necessitating urgent intervention, according to UNICEF.

UNICEF Deputy Country Representative, Dr. Nejmudin Kedir Bilal, pledged the organization’s support for children in Zambia amidst the drought crisis.

Bilal made this commitment during a courtesy call on the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services Permanent Secretary, Angela Kawandami, in Lusaka on Thursday.

He praised the government for its proactive emergency response, including the enumeration exercise for vulnerable people across the country.

“UNICEF is concerned for the welfare of children during this time. Immediate and coordinated action is essential to protect them from the escalating threats posed by the drought,” Bilal stated.

In her remarks, Kawandami reaffirmed government’s commitment to fostering a supportive environment for collaboration with UNICEF in various areas of human development.

She stated that the government remained dedicated to promoting the implementation of social protection programs.

Read More: US govt pledges $66.8 million to bolster Zambia’s drought response, economic resilience, food security

“These programmes can provide relief and support to those impacted by the drought and safeguard the rights and well-being of children across the country,” Kawandami stated.

She added that the support would include enhancing the government’s welfare structures at community and district levels to address violence, stigma and exclusion.

Kawandami highlighted the importance of facilitating access to quality services, with special emphasis on psychosocial support, family-based care and child-friendly justice.

She also appreciated the European Union (EU) and its human development program, in collaboration with United Nations agencies, for their intention to support the government in strengthening its child protection system.

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