Sweden disburses US$6m for child protection Swedish Ambassador Ms Asa Pehrson (left) and UNICEF Zimbabwe country representative, Dr Tajudeen Oyewale exchange documents after signing a funding agreement in support of child protection programmes in Harare yesterday. - Picture: Memory Mangombe

Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter

The Government is committed to addressing all forms of violence against children and ensure a conducive environment for their growth.

Sweden has been a long-term funding and technical partner to the Child Protection sector in Zimbabwe spanning a period of over 15 years.

In a speech read on his behalf at a signing ceremony of the SIDA grant which will see Sweden releasing US$6 million through UNICEF’s child protection programme, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said Swedish support would see the strengthening of social and child protection systems.

“Our aim is to create a Zimbabwe fit for children through strategic partnerships and to expand child protection financing through the Child Protection Fund.

“On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe and on my own behalf, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the people of Sweden for the continued financial support, over the years, towards strengthening Government social and child protection systems for the attainment of social development in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1),” he said.

Minister Mavima said Zimbabwe continued to improve its systems by aligning policies and programmes to international best practices.

“As a progressive Government, we are conscious of the dynamism of societal needs hence we prioritise constant review of our legislation, programmes and policies.

“Our aim is that policies and programmes should remain relevant and comprehensive to adequately meet the needs of the general population.

“Government is committed to reducing poverty and vulnerability; fostering resilience and enhancing the wellbeing of vulnerable members of our society who include children, indigent persons, the elderly, persons with disabilities and the unemployed among others,” he                                                                                said.

Sweden’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Asa Pehrson said her country was committed to supporting child rights, evidenced by the support it continues to render Zimbabwe.

“Sweden is happy to be in this partnership aimed at advancing the interests of the children where UNICEF, the Government and Sweden have worked smoothly over the years.

“Sweden’s unrestricted and flexible generous support has enabled UNICEF to allocate resources where they are most needed for the most vulnerable children, while encouraging innovative programming,” she said.

UNICEF’s country representative Dr Tajudeen Oyewale said Sweden’s gesture to children in Zimbabwe would go a long way in improving their welfare.

“Sweden has been a long-term funding and technical partner to the Child Protection sector in Zimbabwe spanning a period of over 15 years.

“Much of the support from Sweden has been channelled to the sector through successive phases of the Child Protection Fund (CPF), managed by UNICEF,” he said.

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