Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kapata calls for 15% allocation to health

Kapata calls for 15% allocation to health
Written by Masuzyo Chakwe
Sunday, March 22, 2009 6:26:18 PM

ZAMBIA Parliamentary Caucus on Children chairperson Jean Kapata has said the rights of children in Zambia in terms of health, education and security have not been adequately catered for.

Kapata yesterday said the government should be ensuring at least 15 per cent of the total budget goes to the health sector so that the ministry could reach out to children.

She said the first ever Parliamentary Caucus on Children within the Zambian Parliament was formed last year.

Kapata said the caucus was a voluntarily organisation for members of parliament who were committed to ensuring the promotion of the rights of children,

She said efforts to improve the participation of parliamentarians dated back to 2004 when a seminar on children was held in Cape Town with the joint support of the European Parliamentarians for Africa and UNICEF.

Kapata said parliamentarians from Africa and Europe participated in the seminar and discussed the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in Africa.

"The seminar adopted the 'Cape Town Declaration on an Enhanced Parliamentary Response to the crisis of orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS in Africa.' The declaration laid out concrete actions and commitments for African and European parliamentarians in addressing the crisis of OVCs in Africa. In Zambia, this culminated in the formation of this caucus," she said.

Kapata said the major goal of the Parliamentary Caucus on Children was to influence relevant national institutions to place children, particularly orphans and vulnerable children as a priority of the government's political and development agenda.

Kapata said the executive committee of the caucus, in consideration of addressing children and women issues concretely at constituency level, decided to conduct situation analyses in six pilot constituencies as the basis for development of constituency development plans.

"Criteria for selection were based on under five child mortality, HIV prevalence, food insecurity as well as rural urban demographics. The pilot projects will be in Sinazongwe, Chingola, Mongu Central, Mandevu, Lubansenshi and Lukulu West constituencies.

She welcomed all stakeholders dealing with various aspects of children's issues to work closely with the Caucus so as to ensure the creation of a safe environment for children.

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