(Thursday 11th October, 2018 Issue)
The National Assembly in collaboration with UNICEF, The Gambia Office has organised a three days training on social protection for increased national budget allocation to child protection.
The training started on Tuesday at a local hotel in Kololi.
The deputy speaker at the National Assembly, Hon. Momodou L.K. Sanneh explained the rationale of the event, saying it is to establish a consultative process which seeks to initiate a Mid-Term Expenditure Review Framework on the implementation of child protection and social protection programmes as approved in the 2018 budget.
"Our engagement with the important sectors during the three days would enable us to understand and appreciate on how sectors spend the funds allocated to them, on child and social protection programmes," he said.
However, he added that the consultations will also serve as an advocacy tool for increased budget allocation to both health and education sectors.
"The purpose of this interaction is to advance hopes to create visibility of the issues affecting children, women and vulnerable people and what measures government is taking to address those challenges. In this process the role of committees becomes critical," he stated.
The representative of the UNICEF Child Survival Development, Dr. Shahid Mahbob Awan, expressed their continuous support and commitment to the process of child protection.
He said the budget allocation for child protection directly relates to the wellbeing of the children and contributes to the sustainable development as they are the children of today and the producers of tomorrow, "so the initiative is a great thing to us."
He added that the very important thing about The Gambia is the highest level of commitment in terms of the young, select committee members, the chairs and guardians of people who have experiences.
"We have a very strong primary health care in the country which needs to further strengthen health, nutrition, education and social protection," he said. "These are those elements which are going to contribute to the future of The Gambia and should be taken very seriously."