Outgoing UNICEF Representative in The Gambia, Gordon Jonathan Lewis, paid a courtesy visit to the Vice President of The Gambia, Muhammed BS Jallow, ahead of his departure for Dakar, Senegal where he will assume the role of Deputy Regional Director for UNICEF West and Central Africa office. Vice President Jallow and Mr Lewis discussed a wide range of issues related to the rights and welfare of children and adolescents in The Gambia.
Mr Lewis commended the Government of The Gambia for its strong commitment to safeguarding the rights of children and for supporting UNICEF’s work in The Gambia, and underscored that UNICEF enjoys strong and fruitful relations with the government premised on frank and open conversations. He appealed for more national budget allocations to and public investment in the services that support the survival and development of children, especially health, education, and child protection.
Mr Lewis also raised the urgent need to scale up national immunization services to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases, more investment in quality education, especially foundational literacy and numeracy, urgent and stronger action to protect girls and women from violence, and provision of spaces for children and young people to share their voices on issues that are important to them. He also advocated for the strengthening of national institutions, including government ministries, that support the rights and development of children.
The Vice President Jallow applauded UNICEF for its continuous support and strong partnership with the government, especially in the promotion of accessible and quality education and health services for children. He assured the UNICEF Representative that the Government of The Gambia will continue to prioritize and remain committed to the education, health and protection of all children.