Has the 2018/19 National Budget covered children?
By Ann Wambui
The Finance Minister Henry Rotich today June 14 presented the 2018/19 fiscal year budget in Parliament, reflecting the government’s financial year which begins on July 1.
The Ksh3 trillion budget will result to increase in a number of commodities including milk, maize flour and fuel prices.
The budget is said to cover the need to provide resources towards achieving ‘The Big Four’ Plan as established by President Uhuru Kenyatta during Madaraka Day. The theme accompanying the budget is, “Creating jobs, Transforming Lives and Sharing Prosperity” is meant to compliment assurance that the agendas set for the country are achieved in time before next elections and at the same time ensuring that the country’s path on public debt remains sustainable.
According to General Comment 19 of the UNCRC (2016) which provides guidelines to UNCRC Article 4, the committee of experts states that the Budget should be systematically planned, enacted, implemented and accounted for at the national and sub-national levels of the State to ensure that all children’s rights are realized.
We at Mtoto News have observed the budget and how it was prepared to take interest of the children in the country. We noted that orphans and vulnerable children have been allocated Ksh7.9bn compared to last year Ksh9.6bn. The Ksh1.7bn decrease only means that part of children in this category will either be partially or completely left out of protection, which is not what we advocate for. The state should ensure EVERY child is well protected from all forms of child abuse, neglect, exploitation and brutality.
We note with concern allocation to child welfare society of 1.2 billion, but we know there mandate is limited to adoption ,where as there is no clear allocation to department of children Services and national council for children Services whose mandate is much wider including ending violence against children from the grassroots, child policy development and implementation and reporting to International treaty bodies.
However, we feel that a lot more needs to be done to secure children’s welfare in terms of education and livelihood. More so, the government needs to come up with measures on how to curb and thoroughly deal with sexual abuse in schools. This is after all that we have seen happen in the month of June in both primary and secondary schools.
In regards to the feeding programs in schools, the government also needs to be consistent and effective in providing meals in the public education centers since most children go to school because they is a meal provided at school rather than at home which is never assured.
Source: Kenyan 2018/19 Budget