A one day advocacy forum on Child Rights and Real Time Senitel Monitoring for Tongan parliamentarians is currently underway at the Janful International Dateline Hotel, Nuku’alofa to provide them with an overview on child rights and to highlight the evidence collected during a real time sentinel monitoring that was conducted by UNICEF.
The real time sentinel monitoring exercise was a joint UN initiative that was carried out during 2009 – 2010 and collected two rounds of data showing evidence of increased food prices and concerns for malnutrition faced by vulnerable people, particularly children bearing the burden of hardship.
The Social Policy Speacialist with the UNICEF office in Suva, Fiji, Ms Reiko Miskelly said that the central lesson learned from every previous economic crisis is that the poorest people in developing countries suffer the most and that not enough is done to help them. In previous financial and economic crises, child mortality rates rose and school enrolment dropped, and there are already indications that the current global economic crisis, compounded by recent food and fuel price instability will increase poverty and malnutrition.
“The impact of the world food and fuel price increases remain a great threat to Pacific island countries, particularly atoll countries such as Tonga, where the population is dependent on imported food and is highly susceptive to high cost of fuel to transport food to outer islands”, she added.
The wokrshop is facilitated by UNICEF, Suva office and supported by the Secretariat of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.