Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014. 9:36 pm CST.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partner the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are working with the Ministry of Local Government to make all of Belize’s 9 municipalities safer for their youngest residents.
At the start of a workshop opening the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative, Ivan Yerovi, UNICEF representative, told us that put simply, the municipalities will identify and work toward a goal that will contribute to a child-friendly atmosphere from Corozal to Toledo.
Whether it is ensuring that all children are registered at birth as required by law, or putting in safeguards to prevent unnecessary and often tragic accidents inside and outside the home, the municipalities will receive special assistance from UNICEF and UNDP as well as other agencies of Government.
The southern towns of Dangriga and Punta Gorda and Belize City are already in the process of implementation, and UNICEF is already providing direct support to the first two and is prepared to offer technical support to the others.
However, Yerovi makes clear that the municipalities would not be dictated to as to their choice of goals as long as they meet the seven overarching elements of the Millennium Development Goals, which will be reevaluated at the end of next year.
President of the Mayors’ Association and outgoing Mayor of Belmopan Simeon Lopez told us the group is a good vehicle by which to introduce the project.
In the Garden City, emphasis would be paid to “child-proofing” roads and walkways to reduce traffic mishaps and make the city safer for children to play in.
The workshop is coordinated along with the Ministry of Local Government.
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