UNICEF urges Africa to keep accurate data on children

Banjul- Gambia (PANA) -- The lack of accurate data on children in Africa poses problems for UNICEF to plan for their welfare, a demographer at UNICEF headquarters in New York, Edilberto Loaiza warned Friday in Banjul.
"The registration is poor and in many cases, people don't know they have to register their children at birth.
Every child has a right to a name, nationality and to be counted," Loaiza pointed out.
Loaiza spoke as coordinator of a Regional workshop on the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), which 50 participants from 14 West and Central African countries attended in Banjul.
He cited Sierra Leone and DR Congo as examples of countries in conflicts where rebels burnt data and other valuable records, and called on all countries to update their data for in-depth analysis of issues affecting children and women.
He hoped the participants would henceforth upgrade their data files in line with the objectives of the Banjul meeting.
The meeting focused on disparity between children and women in relation to malnutrition child-labour and school dropouts He therefore urged all and sundry to visit the children's website: http://www.
org so as to be current with issues affecting children of the world.
Data from the just ended MICS will be used to compute the Wealth Index of participant countries.
Its global results will be summarised and presented by Secretary General, Kofi Annan at the special session of the UN General Assembly on children scheduled in September.
The UNICEF sponsored survey has been conducted in 70 countries so far.

29 june 2001 18:10:00

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