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Coalition pushes gov’t to prioritize child-focused budget

By William Madouk

Child Right Coalition (CRC) is calling on the government to prioritize and step-up funds for child protection to ensure their proper upbringing.

According to the child advocacy team, the government should allocate enough budget for service ministries such as the ministries of health, education, social welfare, water, and irrigation in order to carry out their mandates efficiently.

Mr. Marko Madut Garang, chairperson of the CRC, stated that they create awareness for children to know their rights, amplify their voices, and advocate for an increment in budget for line ministries working with children’s affairs.

“The training is specifically looking at malnutrition, Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH), and food security; this is an area where we want to do advocacy for budget increments during the national parliament budget process,” Garang said.

He cited that children would present their position paper to the specialized economic committee in parliament to add their quest to the national budget.

“So, we want to see if this budget is enough, and if it is not enough, we will use children to advocate for their right to increase the national budget for these service ministries,” he explained.

On Saturday, the coalition conducted a one-day workshop for about 30 children drawn from four primary schools under the “child rights club’.

Subsequently, a committee of five children was formed to present their position paper to parliament next week for their demand to be incorporated into the fiscal 2023–24 fiscal year.

An estimated 8 million people, or 64 percent of the population of South Sudan, will face severe food insecurity in this year’s lean season, according to the Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 report.

It includes about 1.4 million children who are expected to suffer from life-threatening acute malnutrition.

The report also documented that children and adolescents continue to face inequitable access to education, with 2.8 million children (52 percent of them girls) out of school.

The World malaria remains the number one killer disease for infants in the country. That also includes other pandemic illnesses such as cholera and measles, just to mention a few.

Mr. Garang now said that if the budgets of the three ministries of health, agriculture, water and irrigation were increased, children would grow up in a healthy environment.

“When there are better services, you realize children are growing healthy in a very protective environment, and they will realize their potential to grow,” he noted.

The Child Rights Civil Society Coalition is a loose collection of about 36 member organizations that advocate for child protection in the country.

The programme was organized by the Child Right Coalition in collaboration with Right2Grow and the Centre for Economic Governance and Accountability in Africa (CEGAA) and supported by Save the Children International.

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