Coalition on Child Rights says 2023-2024 national budget leaves children behind

NGO Coalition on Child Rights in collaboration with Unicef and Save the Children have described the 2023/2024 budget as not child friendly.

Chairperson for the coalition Desmond Mhango said during an interface meeting with the Social and Community Affairs Committee of Parliament that the budget does not include much on children affairs.

“This year’s national budget proposal is not child friendly because it does not reflect issues of children in the country,” he said.

Social and Community Affairs Committee Chairperson, Savel Kafwafwa

Mhango further said issues of child might be included somewhere in the budget but that is not the best way to budget for children.

He added that the coalition is concerned with the ministries that are seen to be vital in holding budget for children but those allocations are missing out.

Unicef Chief Social Policy Beatrice Tharga said children are the most vulnerable population in the society who need to be carefully looked upon.

“We are interested in all areas that affect children’s wellbeing from education, water and sanitation, child protection as well as nutrition,” she said.

Tharga said they will continue to collaborate with government to ensure more effective, efficient and equitable service delivery in order to impact on child well-being.

NGO Coalition on Child Rights interface meeting with Members of Parliament

On her part, Save the Children Program Development and Quality Director, Burcu Ghadialy, said Malawi needs to invest more in human capital development as reflected in Malawi 2063 agenda.

“The year on year budgeting need to reflect in this commitment in investing in human capital development.” Adding that when we look at investments across the life cycle, the governments get the best return when they invest in childhood.

When investing in early years, the national economy benefits the most unlike when investing in other sectors.

In his reaction, the Committee’s Chairperson Savel Kafwafwa said his committee will take the issues to parliament for consideration so that the national budget should be child friendly.

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