NEW YORK (March 8, 2013) – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has urged Zimbabweans to protect children as the country heads towards a constitutional referendum and elections expected this year.
At the end of a two day visit to Zimbabwe, Lake wished Zimbabweans a peaceful election, saying it was everybody’s duty to ensure that children and women suffered no violence and disruption to their lives during the referendum on March 16 and general elections later in the year.
“At times of great uncertainty, such as during an election, it is important that homes, communities, and schools continue to be havens of safety for children and that they have uninterrupted access to basic social services,” said Lake. “Children are not political and should be sheltered, in all countries, from political turbulence.”
During the visit, Lake met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicholas Goche, and welcomed their assurances on the protection of children. He also visited St. Joseph’s rural health clinic and St. Vincent Primary School that have received medicine and textbooks through a donor-supported funding mechanism managed by UNICEF.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.