United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) said protecting children and investing in women and families, has proven to be a sound economic choice and a cost-effective tool for national development.
UNICEF’s Country Director, Peter Hawkins, made the disclosure in a statement to mark the Chidren day celebration .
According to him, there is need to deploy innovative solutions to fast-track learning and health services to build back better opportunities for every Nigerian child.
Hawkins added that the Children’s day celebration is coming at a challenging moment for child rights in the country and the world.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening gains made for children’s development.
It has been a challenging year for us all.
We commend efforts at all levels of Nigerian government, and society to protect education, health, and protection services in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children.”
“As we rightfully celebrate Nigerian children today, let us also remember that the COVID-19 crisis has been a child rights crisis in Nigeria and around the world.
Poverty is rising, inequality is growing, and the pandemic has often disrupted the essential services that secure the health, education and protection of children and young people.”
“The longer the pandemic goes on, the more intense the impact on women and children.
On this Nigerian Children’s Day, let us all agree that we cannot let one crisis compound another.
The pandemic is threatening decades of progress we have made for children.”
“Violence is perpetrated against one in four Nigerian children, and one in three Nigerian girls are sexually abused. This has only increased during the pandemic.
Today of all days, we must commit to reinforce the protection mechanisms for all children.
But we have learned from this pandemic too. One thing we have learned is that education takes place not only in schools children can and should learn both in and out of school.”