The Government of Sweden has pledged 5.8 million USD to support child protection programmes in Zimbabwe, reinforcing its long-standing commitment to the welfare and rights of children in the country.
The grant, provided through UNICEF’s Child Protection Fund (CPF), marks Sweden’s continued support for the sector and signifies a new phase of collaboration between the two entities.
Dr Tajudeen Oyewale, the UNICEF Country Representative for Zimbabwe, expressed his gratitude for Sweden’s generous gesture and stressed the significance of increased resources for the child protection sector. “This funding agreement is a testament to the partnership and support between Sweden and UNICEF, which spans over 15 years,” he stated. “The Child Protection Fund (CPF), managed by UNICEF, has been a vital channel for Sweden’s support to the sector, focusing on the most vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.”
The CPF, established as a multi-donor pooled fund, aims to protect the rights of vulnerable children and address various dimensions of child vulnerability, including violence, exploitation, abuse, gender disparities, disability, and HIV. Previous phases of the CPF have witnessed remarkable achievements in strengthening child protection systems and providing vital services to thousands of children across the country.
Dr Oyewale emphasized the importance of the newly launched third phase of the CPF (CPF III) in sustaining and advancing child protection systems in Zimbabwe. “CPF III will focus on strengthening the National Case Management System, integrating key issues such as Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Children on the Move, Child Labour, Civil Registration Systems, and Climate Change into the child protection system,” he explained.
Ambassador Pehrson reiterated Sweden’s commitment to child rights and praised the Government of Zimbabwe for its dedication to the National Case Management System. “Sweden has been a long-term funding and technical partner to the Child Protection sector in Zimbabwe,” she stated. “Through our collaboration with UNICEF and the CPF, we have been able to support the establishment of essential systems and deliver services to vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.”
The ambassador highlighted the crucial areas that the funding would address, including combating violence, child marriages, trafficking, sexual exploitation, poverty, and ensuring birth registration. She also called for sustained allocation to social welfare to expand child protection services.
This signing ceremony marked a milestone in Sweden and UNICEF’s partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe in advancing child protection in the country. As the first donor to CPF III, Sweden’s contribution will enable UNICEF to scale up its technical assistance, strengthen the capacity of social workers, and improve the integration and coordination of child protection and social protection interventions. Dr Oyewale encouraged other donors to join the pooled funding mechanism to maximize support for children in Zimbabwe.
“The government of Zimbabwe is committed to addressing all forms of violence against children to ensure that every child grows in a safe, secure, and protective environment,” expressed a government representative, Tawanda Zimhunga said. “Our aim is to create a Zimbabwe fit for children through strategic partnerships and to expand child protection financing through the Child Protection Fund. The Government expresses its gratitude to the people of Sweden for the continued financial support towards the protection of vulnerable persons in Zimbabwe over the years. The support rendered today will go a long way in improving the well-being of children, particularly those who are marginalized and vulnerable.”
With the continued collaboration and investment, it is hoped that the child protection system in Zimbabwe will be further strengthened, ensuring a brighter and safer future for the children of the nation