Search NaijaAgroNet

Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2019

UNICEF warns ‘Poor diets damaging children’s health worldwide - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet

 
High number of children are suffering the consequences of poor diets and a food system that is failing them, UNICEF warned today in a new report on children, food and nutrition, and as the United Nations and partners commemorate World Food Day, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition finds that at least 1 in 3 children under five – or 200 million – is either undernourished or overweight. Almost 2 in 3 children between six months and two years of age are not fed food that supports their rapidly growing bodies and brains. This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases, death.

The report provides the most comprehensive assessment yet of 21st century child malnutrition in all its forms. It describes a triple burden of malnutrition: Undernutrition, hidden hunger caused by a lack of essential nutrients, and overweight among children under the age of five, noting that around the world:

  • 149 million children are stunted, or too short for their age, including 13.1 million children in Nigeria
  • 50 million children are wasted, or too thin for their height, including 2.9 million children in Nigeria
The report warns that poor eating and feeding practices start from the earliest days of a child’s life. Though breastfeeding can save lives, for example, in Nigeria, only 27 per cent of children under six months of age are exclusively breastfed and an increasing number of children are fed infant formula. This means many Nigerian children are missing out on the life-saving benefits of breastmilk which is a baby’s first vaccine and offers the best possible nutrition at the start of life.

In Nigeria, malnutrition remains a major public health and development concern:49 percent of children under five years of age are not growing well (they are either stunted, wasted or overweight). This is the second highest proportion after the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West and Central Africa region. This is partly because 34 percent of children between six months and two years of age are fed food that is not rich and diversified enough to ensure optimal growth. 

As children begin transitioning to soft or solid foods around the six-month mark, too many are introduced to the wrong kind of diet, according to the report. As children grow older, their exposure to unhealthy food becomes alarming, driven largely by inappropriate marketing and advertising, the abundance of ultra-processed foods in cities but also in remote areas, and increasing access to fast food and highly sweetened beverages.

The report also notes that climate-related disasters cause severe food crises. Drought, for example, is responsible for 80 per cent of damage and losses in agriculture globally, dramatically altering what food is available to children and families, as well as the quality and price of that food; Nigeria is also affected by climate change.

To address the growing malnutrition crisis in all its forms, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to government, the private sector, donors, parents, families and businesses to help children grow healthy by:

  1. Investing more resources in interventions aimed at preventing malnutrition among young children and supporting treatment when prevention fails.
  2. Supporting nursing mothers to adequately feed and care for their children.
  3. Empowering families, children and young people to demand nutritious food, including by improving nutrition education and using proven legislation – such as sugar taxes – to reduce demand for unhealthy foods.
  4. Driving food suppliers to do the right thing for children, by incentivizing the provision of healthy, convenient and affordable foods. 
  5. Building healthy food environments for children and adolescents by using proven approaches, such as accurate and easy-to-understand labelling and stronger controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods.
  6. Mobilizing supportive systems – health, water and sanitation, education and social protection – to scale up nutrition results for all children.
  1. Collecting, analyzing and using good-quality data and evidence to guide action and track progress.

 Isaac Oyimah/Editor

 ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Monday, July 30, 2018

UNICEF, LIXIL partner on sanitation for children - NaijaAgroNet

The world’s leading children’s organization, UNICEF and maker of pioneering water and housing products, LIXIL are partnering to help vulnerable children gain access to safe and clean toilets, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The partnership, named “Make a Splash! Toilets for All”, NaijaAgroNet gathered will leverage the two organizations’ complementary strengths to support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) of achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030.

The UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, noted that “Nearly 800 children die every day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Through this innovative partnership with LIXIL, we hope to help keep every child healthy and alive.”

UNICEF and LIXIL have already successfully worked together in Africa to provide people in need of toilets with access to sanitation products, designed by LIXIL to fit local conditions. The success led the partners to explore ways to expand their collaboration to improve sanitation for all.


The new partnership is among UNICEF’s most ambitious to date. It signals a new way that UNICEF is working with companies that engage their core business, at various levels, to achieve significant advances for children. It is UNICEF’s first global shared-value partnership in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and the first of its kind with a Japanese company.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Friday, May 25, 2018

2018 Children’s Day: Wanton killings worry MeCAM, says it compounds children malnutrition misery

As the world gear up to mark the 2018 Children’s Day, the Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM Nigeria) has expressed worries over the wanton killings going on across the country, especially by suspected terrorist-herdsmen and urged the Federal Government (FG) to put a stop to it, because its effect compounds children nutrition status, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A press statement endorsed by the Director, Outreach for MeCAM, Mrs. Julie Ekong, in commemoration of the 2018 Children’s Day, MeCAM chairman, Mr. Remmy Nweke noted that the destruction of farmlands and killings by the terrorists-herdsmen have reduced the number of farmers; while some have been killed, others have fled their farmlands.

The deaths have also left many children motherless, aggravating the already low percentage of exclusive breast fed children in Nigeria, which according to UNICEF stood at 15 per cent.
Conflicts and resulting mass displacement, he said, often results in increased prevalence of acute malnutrition and mortality.

MeCAM, therefore calls on Federal Government to pay more attention to children in Internally Displaced camps with a view to reducing malnutrition and stunted growth through vitamin A supplementation.

Although MeCAM noted that Nigeria has made progress in micronutrient deficiency, UNICEF says half of the children aged 6-59 months do not receive Vitamin A supplementation. Whereas, some 11 million under age children are said to be stunted especially in the North East and North West part of the country, as well as the poorest sectors of the society.

MeCAM believes that this year’s theme ”Creating safe spaces for children: Our collective responsibility,” is apt because intervention by relevant authorities will lead to the protection of children and their mothers which will translate to less crises and interruption in the lives of the children that will aggravate malnutrition and stunted growth of children in the country.
Children, MeCAM insisted have a right to life and food.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM) Nigeria was founded Thursday, August 28, 2015, as a media advocacy group against child malnutrition and well-being, as well as to strengthen the agro-nutrition capacity and interest of its members professionally in contribution to nation-building, especially in Nigeria and across the continent of Africa among developing countries of the world.

MeCAM is committed to showcasing successful and development efforts in the area of agro-nutrition for the benefit of mankind and for Africa emancipation from extreme hunger especially in children, women and society, centred on Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Emergency: UNICEF needs $3.6bn for 48m children in crises

The UNICEF is urgently in need of $3.6 billion to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to 48 million children living through conflict, natural disasters and other emergencies in 51 countries in 2018, reports NaijaAgroNet.
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes, Manuel Fontaine disclosed in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, noted that around the world, violent conflict is driving humanitarian needs to critical levels, with children especially vulnerable. Conflicts that have endured for years – such as those in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, among other countries –  continue to deepen in complexity, bringing new waves of violence, displacement and disruption to children’s lives.

“Children cannot wait for wars to be brought to an end, with crises threatening the immediate survival and long term future of children and young people on a catastrophic scale. Children are the most vulnerable when conflict or disaster causes the collapse of essential services such as healthcare, water and sanitation. Unless the international community takes urgent action to protect and provide life-saving assistance to these children, they face an increasingly bleak future,” Fontaine said.
According to Communication Specialist UNICEF Nigeria, Eva Hinds, parties to conflicts are showing a blatant disregard for the lives of children, hence children may not only be coming under direct attack, but are also being denied basic services as schools, hospitals and civilian infrastructure are damaged or destroyed. Approximately 84 per cent ($3.015 billion) of the 2018 funding appeal is for work in countries affected by humanitarian crises borne of violence and conflict.

The world is becoming a more dangerous place for many children, with almost one in four children now living in a country affected by conflict or disaster. For too many of these children, daily life is a nightmare.
The spread of water-borne diseases is one of the greatest threats to children’s lives in crises. Attacks on water and sanitation infrastructure, siege tactics which deny children access to safe water, as well as forced displacement into areas with no water and sanitation infrastructure – all leave children and families at risk of relying on contaminated water and unsafe sanitation. Girls and women face additional threats, as they often fulfil the role of collecting water for their families in dangerous situations.

“117 million people living through emergencies lack access to safe water and in many countries affected by conflict, more children die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation than from direct violence,” said Fontaine. “Without access to safe water and sanitation, children fall ill, and are often unable to be treated as hospitals and health centres either do not function or are overcrowded. The threat is even greater as millions of children face life-threatening levels of malnutrition, making them more susceptible to water-borne diseases like cholera, creating a vicious cycle of undernutrition and disease.”

As the leading humanitarian agency on water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies, UNICEF provides over half of the emergency water, sanitation and hygiene services in humanitarian crises around the world.

When disasters strike, UNICEF works with partners to quickly provide access to safe drinking water, sanitation services and hygiene supplies to prevent the spread of disease. This includes establishing latrines, distributing hygiene kits, trucking thousands of litres of water to displacement camps daily, supporting hospitals and cholera treatment centres, and repairing water and sanitation systems. These measures save lives, have long-term impact and pave the way for other important services like health clinics, vaccination programmes, nutrition support and emergency education.

The largest component of UNICEF’s appeal this year is for children and families caught up in the Syria conflict, soon to enter its eighth year. UNICEF is seeking almost $1.3 billion to support 6.9 million Syrian children inside Syria and those living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF said that working with partners and with the support of donors, intends in 2018 to provide 35.7 million people with access to safe water; Reach 8.9 million children with formal or non-formal basic education; Immunize 10 million children against measles; Provide psychosocial support to over 3.9 million children; Treat 4.2 million children with severe acute malnutrition.
Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Thursday, December 28, 2017

No safe place left for Nigerian children – UNICEF laments

With the unleashing of over 135 child-suicide bombers on Nigeria northeast, and increase across the world, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has lamented there is no more safe places left for children, reports NaijaAgroNet.

UNICEF in its latest submission on the state of suffering by Children made available to NaijaAgroNet, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes, Manuel Fontaine, said that in northeast Nigeria and Cameroon, Boko Haram has forced at least 135 children to act as suicide bombers, almost five times the number in 2016.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that millions more children are paying an indirect price for these conflicts, suffering from malnutrition, disease and trauma as basic services – including access to food, water, sanitation and health; as they were denied, damaged or destroyed in the fighting.

Also in the Central African Republic, UNICEF said that after months of renewed fightinga dramatic increase in violence saw children being killed, raped, abducted and recruited by armed groups.

Over 2017 in the Afghanistan, almost 700 children were killed in the first 9 months of the year, while in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, violence has driven 850,000 children from their homes, while more than 200 health centres and 400 schools were attacked. An estimated 350,000 children have suffered from severe acute malnutrition. 

In Iraq and Syria, UNICEF said, children have reportedly been used as human shields, trapped under siege, targeted by snipers and lived through intense bombardment and violence.
Children in Myanmar, Rohingya region, UNICEF said, suffered and witnessed shocking and widespread violence as they were attacked and driven from their homes in Rakhine state; while children in remote border areas of Kachin, Shan, and Kayin states continued to suffer the consequences of ongoing tensions between the Myanmar Armed Forces and various ethnic armed groups.  
For the South Sudan, NaijaAgroNet reports that conflict has seen to a collapsing economy which led to a famine declaration in parts of the country, more than 19,000 children have been recruited into armed forces and armed groups, and over 2,300 children have been killed or injured since the conflict first erupted in December 2013.
Whereas in Somalia, estimated 1,740 cases of child recruitment were reported in the first 10 months of 2017.
Just as in Yemen, nearly 1,000 days of fighting left at least 5,000 children dead or injured, according to verified data, with actual numbers expected to be much higher. More than 11 million children need humanitarian assistance. Out of 1.8 million children suffering from malnutrition, 385,000 are severely malnourished and at risk of death if not urgently treated.
UNICEF calls on all parties to conflict to abide by their obligations under international law to immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals. UNICEF also calls on States with influence over parties to conflict to use that influence to protect children.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that across all these countries, UNICEF works with partners to provide the most vulnerable children with health, nutrition, education and child protection services.

Isaac Oyimah/ED, ops

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Friday, November 17, 2017

Beware! Nigerian children plan takeover on November 20

Yes, beware, the World Children’s Day (WCD) is on 20 November, and they youngsters are ready for the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This follows the planned commemoration for this year, NaijaAgroNet reports that children across the world would ‘takeover’ high-profile moments in the media, politics, business, sports, music and entertainment to raise awareness on the most vulnerable and hardest to reach children. 

Children, according to UNICEF Nigeria, would raise their voices in solidarity with the world’s most disadvantaged children.

Also, children would shine a spotlight on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation, even as more than anything else on this day, “we seek your support to make this an advocacy moment for children’s right by children themselves.”

UNICEF equally outlines some children takeovers already confirmed;
1.      Children takeover prominent roles at Hilton Hotel.

2.     Presentation by a Nigerian child at the Ted talk-like Regional African Dialogue in Accra Ghana.
3.     Children’s visit to Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club and takeover of management and games at the Club.
4.     Children takeover broadcasts at Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
5.     Children takeover broadcasts at Kaduna State Media Corporation
6.     Children takeover broadcasts at Ebonyi State Broadcasting Service
7.     Children takeover broadcasts at Broadcasting Corporation of Abia state
8.     Children takeover broadcasts at Imo state Broadcasting Corporation
9.     Children takeover broadcasts at Anambra Broadcasting Service
10.  Children takeover broadcasts at Cross River Broadcasting Corporation
11.  Children takeover broadcasts at Radio Bayelsa
12.  Children takeover broadcasts at Radio Rivers
13.  Children take over broadcasts at Rhythm FM
14.  Children takeover broadcasts at Inspiration FM (Radio)
15.  Children takeover broadcast at Lagos Television
16.  Children takeover broadcast at Radio Lagos, Eko FM
17.  Children takeover broadcasts at Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
18.  Children takeover broadcasts at Nigerian Television Authority
19.  Children takeover broadcast at Breeze FM Akure
20.  Children takeover broadcasts at Positive FM Akure
21.  Children takeover broadcasts at Bauchi State Television

22.  Children takeover broadcasts and the Managing Director’s role at the Bauchi Radio Corporation

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Pix: VP Osibanjo with some Nigerian children during a visit. courtesy: premiumtimesng.com

Friday, October 6, 2017

Respite for millions of children in West Africa

Respite may have come the way of millions of children in West Africa, as all member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to a range of concrete measures to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

 Arising from the ECOWAS First Ladies’ Forum in Niamey, which ended Thursday, October 5, 2017, Ministers responsible for the care and protection of children across the 15 Member States adopted on 4 October the ECOWAS Strategic Framework for Strengthening National Child Protection Systems to Prevent and Respond to Violence, Abuse and Exploitation against Children in West Africa.

In doing so they are committing to concrete measures to protect children from the most damaging forms of abuse, by focusing on five priority areas: sexual, physical and emotional violence against children, including female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C); child marriage; child labour; civil registration and vital statistics; and children on the move.

Led by the ECOWAS Commission, the Strategic Framework was developed in collaboration with a Regional Child Protection Working Group comprised of United Nations agencies and international non-governmental organizations and networks.

Almost 9 out of 10 children in West Africa experience violent discipline. While child marriage exists throughout the continent, it is especially prevalent in West Africa, which hosts six out of the ten countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world: about four in ten young women in West Africa were married off as children. Less than one in two children in West Africa have a birth certificate, which is their basic right to an identity. In addition, the region is the theatre of complex migration routes where children are especially vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

“The Ministerial adoption marks a major step forward for the protection of children in our region”, said ECOWAS’ Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, whose organization convened the gathering of experts and ministers from the 15 Member States. “We stand together more strongly than ever to ensure children are safe and protected. With the right framework, the right actions, the right resources and the right positive changes in attitudes and practices, we can ensure they have an opportunity to fully contribute to our societies.”

Strong child protection systems can ensure that no child falls between the cracks. They provide the surest safeguards against child abuse, neglect, exploitation and other forms of violence through a concerted effort between formal and informal actors. The adoption of the Child Protection Framework provides a joint platform for action on the protection priorities for children. As programmes for children are strengthened at national and community level, Ministerial commitments made during this week’s meeting will be submitted for approval at the next ECOWAS Heads of State meeting in December 2017.


“In West Africa, urgent action is needed to address the acute vulnerabilities of children”, said Andy Brooks, the Chair of the Regional Child Protection Working Group. “We count on the commitment shown by the Ministers being echoed and supported by the Heads of States and the First Ladies’ network in West Africa. We will continue to support States to strengthen services on the ground and the ECOWAS Commission in tracking accountabilities to commitments made here today.”

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Nigeria under-developing children, physically, mentally - UNICEF

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has lamente that Nigeria is putting her children at risk of under-development, both physically and mentally, because critical national policies are not providing an adequate foundation for their growth, reports NaijaAgroNet.
During the first years of a child’s life, UNICEF said in its latest report that the brain grows rapidly; providing good nutrition, loving care and appropriate play provide solid foundations for a child’s learning – and eventual contribution to economic and social growth.
The UNICEF report, Early Moments Matter for Every Child, outlines three policies that can give parents the time and resources needed to support their young children’s healthy development.
The recommended policies are: two years of free pre-primary education; six months of paid maternity leave; and four weeks of paid paternity leave. Nigeria currently has just three months of paid maternity leave, only one year of free pre-primary education and no paternity leave at all. Only about one in every 10 pre-primary children are enrolled in early education activities.
According to the medical journal, The Lancet, Nigeria ranks among the 10 countries with the largest number of children at risk of poor development. 
A 2016 national survey indicated that 31% of children under the age of five are moderately or severely underweight in Nigeria. Stunting as a result of malnutrition can cause irreversible physical and mental retardation. Even though exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life has clearly been shown to improve physical and mental development, the same survey revealed that only 24% of Nigerian children are exclusively breastfed for six months. Paid maternity leave will help to increase the number of children exclusively breastfed.
“What we call Early Childhood Development, which includes physical and cognitive support, has a strategic place in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mohamed Fall UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. “Investing in Early Childhood Development including services to support caregivers, quality pre-primary education and good nutrition will help to secure healthy and productive future generations in Nigeria,” he added.

As well as supporting exclusive breastfeeding, having good Early Childhood Development policies in place will help to improve the overall health and nutrition of a child, enable parents and caregivers to be more responsive to children’s needs and provide greater safety and security. It will also provide improved early learning.
With 90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurring before the age of five, early childhood experiences can have a profound impact on a child’s development can ultimately impact a country’s growth.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More children at risk as 815m people officially hungry globally

An estimated 815 million globally are hungry, thus risking millions of children at risk from malnutrition, says the United Nations latest findings, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to UN, after steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting some 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population, says a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition made available to NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as UN said that at the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide.

The increase - 38 million more people than the previous year - is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017.

Some 155 million children aged under five are stunted (too short for their age), the report says, while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height. An estimated 41 million children are now overweight. Anaemia among women and adult obesity are also cause for concern. These trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns.

The report is the first UN global assessment on food security and nutrition to be released following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 as a top international policy priority.

It singles out conflict - increasingly compounded by climate change - as one of the key drivers behind the resurgence of hunger and many forms of malnutrition.

"Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature," the heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in their joint foreword to the report. They stressed that some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world are now concentrated in conflict zones.

"This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition. Securing peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition to that end," they said.

Famine struck in parts of South Sudan for several months in early 2017, and there is a high risk that it could reoccur there as well as appear in other conflict-affected places, namely northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, they noted.

But even in regions that are more peaceful droughts or floods linked in part to the El NiƱo weather phenomenon, as well as the global economic slowdown, have also seen food security and nutrition deteriorate, they added. 


Isaac Oyimah/GEE 
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Caribbean top continents trafficking children globally

Countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Caribbean have the highest share of children among detected trafficking victims at 64 and 62 per cent respectively, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in its latest study tagged A Child is a Child, showed that 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across around 80 countries in 2015-2016.

Also, NaijaAgroNet reports that some 100,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the United States (US)-Mexico border between 2015 and 2016.

While some 170,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe in 2015-2016, there were unaccompanied and separated children which accounted for 92 per cent of all children arriving Italy by sea in 2016 and the first months of 2017.

Children, UNICEF said, accounted for approximately 28 per cent of trafficking victims globally.
“As much as 20 per cent of smugglers have links to human trafficking networks,” the study stated.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE 
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Refugee, migrant children traveling alone rose to five-fold – UNICEF

The global number of refugee and migrant children moving alone has reached a record high, increasing nearly five-fold since 2010, UNICEF said in a new report made available to NaijaAgroNet.
At least some 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children were recorded in some 80 countries in the combined years of 2015 and 2016, up from 66,000 in 2010 and 2011, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The report entitled ‘A Child is a Child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation’ was recently presented at a global snapshot of refugee and migrant children, the motivations behind their journeys and the risks they face along the way.

The report also showed that an increasing number of these children are taking highly dangerous routes, often at the mercy of smugglers and traffickers, to reach their destinations, clearly justifying the need for a global protection system to keep them safe from exploitation, abuse and death.   

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth said that one child moving alone is one too many, and yet today, there are a staggering number of children doing just that, stressing that as adults are failing to protect them.

“Ruthless smugglers and traffickers are exploiting their vulnerability for personal gain, helping children to cross borders, only to sell them into slavery and forced prostitution. It is unconscionable that we are not adequately defending children from these predators,” Forsyth said.


The report includes the story of Mary, a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor from Nigeria, who experienced the trauma of being trafficked firsthand during her horrific journey through Libya to Italy. 

When describing the smuggler turned trafficker who offered to help her, she said, “Everything (he) said, that we would be treated well, and that we would be safe, it was all wrong. It was a lie.” Mary was trapped in Libya for more than three months where she was abused. “He said to me if I didn’t sleep with him he would not bring me to Europe. He raped me.”

Uj N. Dominic/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Over 1m African children’s lives improved by local social entrepreneurs

Over one million African children have benefited from social enterprise development on the continent in the last five years, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to a new report released by Reach for Change Africa, a non-profit organization, also reported that over 300 early-stage social entrepreneurs were supported to develop organizations that are improving the lives of children, youth and women in 7 African countries.

NaijaAgroNet gathered, Reach for Change Africa is marking its 5th anniversary themed “Accelerating Impact. Driving Change”, 

Since it was first launched in Accra, Ghana in 2012, Reach for Change Africa has provided crucial business development support for social entrepreneurs who, in turn, used their social businesses to impact over one million children. As a result, over 435,000 African children were protected from mental abuse and threats, over 308,000 children were provided with high quality education, and over 156,000 children were supported to develop and live healthy lives.

“The social enterprise movement is really starting to take off in Africa, and we are honoured to be a part of this movement for change,” said Amma Lartey, Reach for Change Africa’s Regional Director. “With the right supports, social entrepreneurs have the potential to lead Africa’s development and impact millions along the way.”

Reach for Change Africa is a non-profit organization that runs incubators, accelerators and other customized programs to help local social entrepreneurs develop sustainable organizations that impact the lives of children, youth and women.

Additionally, the report showed a number of social entrepreneurs from the 7 countries where Reach for Change Africa operates, explaining how the organization’s programs helped them to develop their social ventures.

“Being in the Incubator has helped me develop a scalable model,” said Carolyne Ekyarisiima, the founder of Apps & Girls in Tanzania. Apps & Girls is a social enterprise that is bridging the gender gap in ICT through coding clubs, workshops, exhibitions, hackathons, bootcamps and competitions for girls and young women. Since joining the Reach for Change Incubator, Ms. Ekyarisiima has scaled her organization from just one location to 21 clubs in Dar es Salaam.

“This year, I spoke with my mentor at Reach for Change about the possibility of franchising my social enterprise and got great feedback. This led me to apply for the NEXTGEN franchising competition and because of the great influence and impact of the Reach for Change Incubator, I was among the winners! Now I am looking into scaling Apps & Girls across all of Tanzania and other African countries,” she added.

The Reach for Change Incubator also helped James Kofi Annan build a social enterprise that’s fighting child-trafficking in Ghana.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Thursday, May 4, 2017

3,900 Nigerian children killed in armed conflict violations - UN

An estimated 3,900 children were killed and 7,300 others maimed as a result of Boko Haram’s insurgency in the North-East Nigeria, says the United Nations (UN), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations, Virginia Gamba disclosed this in the report on “Nigeria: First Report on Children and Armed Conflict Details Violations Suffered by Children as a Result of Boko Haram’s Insurgency and Ensuing Conflict.”

According to Gamba, this figure stems from suicide attacks which became the second leading cause of child casualties, accounting for over one thousand deaths and 2,100 injuries during the reporting period.

The Secretary-General’s report strongly condemns grave violations against children committed by Boko Haram and urges the group to cease all such violations immediately.

Also, the report showed that boys and girls in north-east Nigeria continued to be brutalized as a result of Boko Haram’s insurgency in the region and the ensuing conflict.

This, NaijaAgroNet gathered was the conclusion of the first “Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Nigeria” which documented the impact on children of the severe deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the country between January 2013 and December 2016.

“With tactics including widespread recruitment and use, abductions, sexual violence, attacks on schools and the increasing use of children in so-called “suicide” attacks, Boko Haram has inflicted unspeakable horror upon the children of Nigeria’s north-east and neighbouring countries,“ declared Gamba.


The Special Representative commends the Government of Nigeria for the measures already adopted and their collaboration with the UN to improve the protection of children. She calls upon the authorities to ensure that all boys and girls are provided with the necessary support and services to facilitate their reintegration into their communities.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Monday, May 1, 2017

Despite progress, UNICEF says millions of children still unimmunization

The UNICEF procured 2.5 billion doses of vaccines for children in nearly 100 countries in 2016, reaching almost half of the world’s children under the age of five, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Releasing this figures, during World Immunization Week, UNICEF the largest buyer of vaccines for children in the world, noted that Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, remained the three polio-endemic countries.

UNICEF also  each received more doses of vaccines than any other country, with almost 450 million doses of vaccines procured to children in Nigeria, 395 million in Pakistan and over 150 million in Afghanistan. UNICEF is the lead procurement agency for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Access to immunization has led to a dramatic decrease in deaths of children under five from vaccine-preventable diseases, and has brought the world closer to eradicating polio. Between 2000 and 2015, under five deaths due to measles declined by 85 per cent and those due to neonatal tetanus by 83 per cent. A proportion of the 47 per cent reduction in pneumonia deaths and 57 per cent reduction in diarrhea deaths in this time is also attributed to vaccines.

Yet an estimated 19.4 million children around the world still miss out on full vaccinations every year. Around two thirds of all unvaccinated children live in conflict-affected countries. Weak health systems, poverty and social inequities also mean that 1 in 5 children under five is still not reached with life-saving vaccines.

“All children, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are, have the right to survive and thrive, safe from deadly diseases,” said Dr. Robin Nandy, Chief of Immunization at UNICEF. “Since 1990, immunization has been a major reason for the substantial drop in child mortality, but despite this progress, 1.5 million children still die from vaccine preventable diseases every year.”

Inequalities persist between rich and poor children. In countries where 80 per cent of the world’s under-five child deaths occur, over half of the poorest children are not fully vaccinated. Globally, the poorest children are nearly twice as likely to die before the age of five as the richest.

“In addition to children living in rural communities where access to services is limited, more and more children living in overcrowded cities and slum dwellings are also missing out on vital vaccinations,” said Nandy. “Overcrowding, poverty, poor hygiene and sanitation as well as inadequate nutrition and health care increase the risk of diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and measles in these communities; diseases that are easily preventable with vaccines.”


By 2030, an estimated 1 in 4 people will live in urban poor communities, mainly in Africa and Asia, meaning the focus and investment of immunization services must be tailored to the specific needs of these communities and children, UNICEF said.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology