Tag: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with a population of 171 million, including 40 million children. It is also the continent’s largest economy and has achieved strong economic growth rates in recent years.

There have been some improvements in the situation of children and women in recent years, but a lot still remains to be done.

Over half the population live in poverty. There are major regional disparities, and 90 per cent of the poorest people live in the north of the country.

Nigeria regularly faces natural disasters – such as droughts, floods and epidemics – as well as violent conflict, including insurgency and communal clashes.

Maternal, child and infant mortality rates remain among the world’s highest. The main causes of infant and child deaths are pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and neonatal causes.

There have been improvements in child nutrition, but malnutrition remains a major concern, particularly in northern Nigeria.

Tens of millions of people still lack access to clean water and proper sanitation, despite some progress.

Nigeria has the second highest HIV burden in the world. Coverage for services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) remains low, and paediatric infections account for almost one third of the global burden.

Routine immunization levels have increased. Nigeria is one of three countries – with Afghanistan and Pakistan – where wild polio transmission has never been interrupted despite major strides in battling the disease.

Primary school enrolment and attendance are improving, but there are wide disparities, with attendance lowest in the North, in rural areas and among the poorest.

Nigeria has 10.5 million out-of-school children – the world’s highest number. Girls’ primary school attendance has been improving, but this has not been the case for girls from the poorest households.

UNICEF’s Nigeria country programme:

  • Aims to accelerate the realization of the rights of all children and women to survival, development, protection and participation.
  • Promotes efforts to reduce infant, child and maternal mortality; expand access to quality basic education; and strengthen social and child protection systems.
  • Uses a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach
  • Plays a catalytic role in supporting federal, state and local governments in identifying key bottlenecks that hinder realization of the rights of disadvantaged children, supported by equity-focused, inclusive advocacy, planning, action and monitoring at all levels.
  • Supports adolescent development.

Specifically, the programme supports:

  • Improved access to and use of high-quality and high-impact health, WASH and nutrition interventions for children and women.
  • Improved access to quality basic education by the most vulnerable children, and increased school retention, completion and achievement rates.
  • The establishment of a national child protection system that prevents and responds to violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect, stigma and discrimination.
  • The development of a comprehensive nationwide child-sensitive social protection framework and equity-sensitive policies, programmes and budget allocations.
  • Strengthened state and community preparedness and response to natural and human-induced emergencies, with a focus on children and women.

 

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