(MOTP) Georgetown, Guyana – (September 28, 2016) Minister of Social Protection, Ms. Volda Lawrence, was today, joined by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger at a ceremony hosted by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the official handing over of the Situation Analysis of Women and Children Report (SitAn), which was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Social Protection and UNICEF, at Herdmanston Lodge in Georgetown.
Minister Lawrence, delivering the feature address, said that the report comes at an opportune time as the Ministry is in the process of shaping strategies to address the social issues affecting women and children in Guyana. “The Ministry of Social Protection recently initiated a multi-sectoral, high level policy dialogue, organised in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], in an effort to advance programming for adolescents and youth. This document…will be critical for mapping the strategies for enhancing the well-being of our children and women as it focuses on the possible causes of the problems along with an assessment of the data, [the] bottle necks and barriers that have been surmounted,” Minister Lawrence said.
She added that the SitAn document portrays the situations faced in our community among our women and children. “I am particularly heartened at the realisation of this document, for it presents a comprehensive assessment of the struggles that our children and women face and sets the stage and the way forward for the development and implementation of strategic development plans and programmes, with a vision of advancing the rights of Guyanese children and women,” she said.
Also giving brief remarks on the report, Mrs. Granger said that it helps to put Guyana on the right path towards addressing issues faced by this target population. “In this age of technology, Guyana cannot afford to land behind. Not only in the compilation but also in the dissemination of data, the Situation Analysis is a welcomed resource since it will provide researchers and policy makers… with information on the status of women and children in Guyana. It will provide the information we need which will assess the progress which has been made and to recongnise the challenges we face,” Mrs. Granger said.
UNICEF Representative to Guyana and Suriname, Ms. Marianne Flach said “The analysis will be extremely important in informing the UNICEF country programme for 2017-2021. Over the next five years UNICEF will continue its partnership with the Government of Guyana to support national strategic plans and programmes… The SitAn highlights different groups of vulnerable children and has helped us to place emphasis on critical areas within our new country programme… We will focus scale up our focus on child protection to ensure that violence, the abuse and neglect of children is sufficiently addressed by promoting a multi-sectoral approach to violence prevention and strengthening child protection systems,” Ms. Flach said.