NAIROBI, Kenya, November 19, 2021 / APO Group / –
Reflecting on the long history of the United Nations agency, the First Lady said UNICEF has had an impact on the lives of millions of children around the world over the decades.
“Looking back on the path this institution has traveled since 1946, impacting the lives of millions of children, saving lives and protecting their rights is a visible legacy of which we are all proud to be a part,” said the First Lady.
She noted that UNICEF’s contribution to the advancement of humanity has helped achieve major milestones for children, including polio eradication, humanitarian relief and universal primary education.
“The legacy of your work lies in generations of children whose lives have been improved, especially children living in vulnerable and marginalized communities,” said the First Lady.
She stressed that UNICEF’s contribution to protecting girls from harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage resonates with Kenya’s commitment to end all forms of gender-based violence. by 2026.
The First Lady, who is also a champion of efforts to end child malnutrition, commended the UN agency for helping to advance the global children’s nutrition rights agenda.
“Nutrition remains a priority for me because of the impact it has on the growth and development of our children, so that they reach their full potential. In this way, they can excel in education and become productive citizens in society, ”said the First Lady.
On HIV prevention, the First Lady said that UNICEF had made a significant contribution to achieving Kenya’s goal of ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis by 2023, and thanked the organization for its support in the development of the country’s eMTCT. strategy.
“We look forward to a stronger partnership to raise the profile of maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya. We have a collective commitment to deliver on our global pledge to leave no one behind, ”said the First Lady.
Chief Justice Martha Koome, who also spoke at the celebration, said the judiciary has prioritized the protection of children’s rights in the country and regretted that despite a strong legal regime , Kenyan children remain vulnerable due to lack of implementation.
Judge Koome rallied state and non-state actors to elevate the agenda, pledging to continue her long-standing commitment to promoting children’s rights.
UNICEF Kenya Representative Maniza Zaman said her agency has contributed significantly to the well-being of the country’s children and listed the reduction in the under-5 mortality rate by 57% between 1990 and 2020, the increase in enrollment under the free primary education program to 10 million students and the increase in social protection coverage from 500 families in 2005 to 1.3 million this year, part of the main steps taken over the years.
She said UNICEF had provided 9.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine and praised First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for her tireless advocacy work on behalf of vulnerable children.
During the celebrations, two Kenyan children, Angela Andia, 12, and Daniel Mose, 11, were recognized for their outstanding performances in Nation Media Group and the UNICEF sponsored Wisdom Project.
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