By Jubiel Zulu
REPSSI country director Kelvin Ngoma says the vulnerabilities of children and youth pose a serious threat to regional socioeconomic integration development, peace and security.
Mr. Ngoma says to mitigate the challenges, SADC has taken the position that is more appropriate to define basic needs and services for vulnerable children and vulnerable youth, and to provide the services in a comprehensive and holistic manner across the region.
He said it is particularly important because the basic needs required by children and young people to develop into productive citizens and to realise their full human capabilities are many, and equally important.
Mr. Ngoma says with no birth certificates, children can not access basic services even in situations where they are offered free which may lead to the absence of vocational or entrepreneurial skills, meaning youth can not secure employment or transform innovative ideas to self employment and livelihoods earning opportunities which are necessary to provide for their health care, food security, protection from abuse and psychological and social wellbeing.
He said the absence of safety nets leads to engagement of socially deviant and risky behaviours, such as criminal activities, violence, transactional sex, early marriage or drug abuse.
Recently president Edgar Lungu launched the 7th National Development Plan projected resource envelope for the plan period 2017–2021 estimated at K342.3 billion, averaging K68.5 billion annually.
Mr. Lungu said Financing over the plan period will be premised on the principle of restoring fiscal fitness as guided by the pillars of the 2016 Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP), dubbed “Zambia Plus”.
It is for this reason that the country takes keen interest into finding out the exact money allocation to the children who are the future generation.
Mr. Ngoma has urged all actors of government, civil society organisations, private sector, older children and the youth, international co-operating partners and donors to collaborate and strengthen their capacities for service referral, and to ‘knit’ their efforts to provide all basic services to vulnerable children andATTin a holistic manner.