By Staff Reporter
The Swedish embassy in Harare has announced a generous pledge of US$6 million to support initiatives aimed at combating child marriages and bolstering child protection programs in Zimbabwe.
The funding, falling under the United Nations’ Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)’s 2022-2026 country programming, was formalized during a signing ceremony held yesterday.
Ambassador Asa Pehrson, speaking at the event, expressed the embassy’s commitment to the cause.
“The 60 million krona (US$5.78 million) that we are signing today will be allocated to the Zimbabwe Child Protection Programme III, this program will provide crucial protection against various threats faced by children, including violence, abuse, neglect, child marriages, teenage pregnancies, child trafficking, sexual violence, exploitation, child poverty, children in contact or conflict with the law, and birth registration,” said Ambassador Pehrson
Pehrson further emphasized Sweden’s belief in the importance of efficient child protection for the overall well-being of children.
“As vulnerable individuals, children are more susceptible to mistreatment, exploitation, discrimination, and violence,” she noted. “Sweden firmly maintains that regardless of the circumstances, every child should have the right to a family life and the opportunity to grow up in an environment filled with happiness, love, and understanding.”
Tajudeen Oyewale, the UNICEF country representative, welcomed the significant funding commitment, highlighting its crucial role in safeguarding the welfare of Zimbabwean children.
Oyewale emphasized that supporting child protection programming is of paramount importance for the well-being of the country’s children.
Zimbabwe, as a signatory to several regional and international treaties concerning child protection, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, acknowledges the significance of these endeavors in ensuring the safety and rights of its young population.
The Swedish embassy’s generous contribution is expected to have a profound impact on combating child marriages and protecting the rights of children in Zimbabwe, reaffirming the country’s commitment to creating a safe and nurturing environment for its youngest citizens.