Jamaica government, UNICEF sign US$13,850,000 action plan for children
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday May 02, 2012 – Jamaica’s children will benefit from a Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) signed by government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) worth over Jam$1.2 billion (US$13,850,000).
The five-year CPAP programme is to be implemented from 2012 to 2016 and comprises three basic components: adolescent health and empowerment, child protection and quality education.
It was designed by UNICEF to support the achievement of the goals of the Medium Term Socio-economic Framework Vision 2030, the Millennium Development Goals, the Millennium Declaration and outcomes of a World Fit for Children and to meet the government's international obligations pertaining to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
UNICEF representative Robert Fuderich said the overall goal of the programme is to contribute to the realisation of the rights of Jamaican girls and boys by focusing on a reduction of disparities and inequalities and improving vulnerable and marginalised families.
"UNICEF very much looks forward to working with all of you over the next five years to make Jamaica a place to live, work, raise families and do business. Although we will be riding some rough waters over the next few years, if we stick together we will go far and we will reach our goals," he said.
Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, who represented government, said the signing was a happy occasion as it came against the backdrop of much concern about violence against and sexual abuse of the nation's children.
"This coordinated action for child development is one that we support because experience has taught us that this approach involving all stakeholders is the most sustainable way to achieve results," she said.
She explained that the programme is expected to see 50 per cent of the most vulnerable adolescents in selected communities equipped with life skills, have access to quality health care, and be consultative to decision making in their communities.
It also should see abused children and those who come in contact with the law having improved child protection services.
Additionally, 40 per cent of six-year-old girls and boys from vulnerable communities entering primary schools should have mastered the entrance assessment, and the performance of grade four children improved by 30 per cent in mathematics and literacy by the end of the programme.
"If it is that we are able to measure that and achieve those objectives in the next four years, I think that would be making a dent in some of the problems we have," Hanna said.