….. as Governor Advocates Funding Support for UNICEF
By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Birnin Kebbi
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Kebbi State Government, that defines the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating institutions covering all UNICEF intervention areas in state.
Whilst unveiling objectives of the agreements, Mohammad Mohiuddin, Chief of UNICEF Sokoto Field Office, explained that the MoU with the State, will support and empowers the Traditional Institutions to take responsibilities for community mobilisation and enhance demands for basic social services like immunization, antenatal care, exclusively breastfeeding, net school enrolment, hygiene and safe drinking water, etc.
“The MoU clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating institutions and outline the modalities for strengthening community engagement and social mobilization”, he added.
Speaking during an Advocacy and Community Engagement Workshop, following the signing of the document in Birnin Kebbi, the State governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu, use the occasion to advocate for better funding for UNICEF saying that the financial burden is far lower than the resources available to UNICEF .
He called on government at all levels and other stakeholders to come and support UNICEF in its drive for community development in providing a better society for the well-being of the children.
“UNICEF is doing very well, however, the responsibilities we placed on them is far more higher than the financial resources available to them.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on well meaning individuals, governments and other stakeholders to come in and join hands in mobilising better funding for UNICEF in carrying out their laudable project.” The Governor said.
The UNICEF who also signed a partnership agreement with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kebbi State Council that will engage the media in making special efforts to reach out to communities in hard-to-get areas and socially excluded population in the state; calls for media support in the reportage of issues related to child protection and survival.
On the Media Partnership with NUJ and Ministry of Information, the Chief of Field Office said, “the partnership agreement takes consideration of equity approach making special efforts to reach out to communities in the hard-to-reach areas and socially excluded population/children and offer communities the opportunity have access to critical information on Child survival and development issues.
“It will also help communities come up with ways of integrating TV/Radio program with their own appropriate modes of information dissemination and to expose communities to situations that might improve or endanger their lives and stimulate community dialogue on way forward.
“Mass media plays an important role to raise awareness and knowledge for improving demand for social services. It has massive reach and stimulates social network and peer conversation and mobilises those predisposed to engage in desired behavioral change.”