By Alois Vinga
A CHILD welfare group has blamed the country’s slow progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on poor budgetary support being extended by government.
Recent media reports indicated that Zimbabwe has to date reached only two out of 44 SDG targets for children.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Thursday, Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) national director, Reverend Father Taylor Nyanhete said budgetary constraints were an impediment.
“Though there has been a budgetary allocation for SDGs; it has been considered as too low to adequately support implementation.
“Another challenge is that there have been various changes in the coordinating body within government from the Macroeconomic and Public Service Ministries during the transition to the new dispensation in 2017 further complicated by reshuffles in Cabinet and Parliament,” he said.
The welfare organisation leader said delays and non-reporting on progress made through the Voluntary National Review process from 2018 to date also dealt the country a blow.
Limited knowledge and information on SDGs within the government, private sector, media, traditional leaders, church leadership and the general public are among many factors said to be hindering progress.
“Going forward, government needs to boost financial support and adopt the ‘leave no-one behind’ approach in capacity building, information and awareness of special interest groups, women, children, youth, persons with disabilities in order to meaningfully participate in the SDGs implementation process,” Nyanhete said.
He also called for strengthening of the legal and policy framework through realignment of laws like the Children’s Amendment Bill, Child Rights Bill, National Disability Policy, National Child Rights Policy to the 2013 Constitution.
“Focus should be on achieving success; with increased coordination, increased civic participation and information awareness raising around the SDGs,” he added.