Mogilev invited to test UNICEF’s new child-responsive budgeting practice
MOGILEV, 29 August (BelTA) – The Mogilev city administration will consider the possibility of using the city as a pilot site for the Child-Responsive Budgeting project as part of implementing UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative. The agreement was reached as Mogilev Mayor Vladimir Tsumarev met with the UNICEF representative in Belarus Rashed Mustafa Sarwar on 28 August, BelTA has learned.
Rashed Mustafa Sarwar noted that serious progress in implementing the Child Friendly Cities Initiative is obvious in Mogilev. It means a lot is being done in this area: from supporting the institution of maternity and childhood to the creative self-realization of teenagers. The implementation of the Child-Responsive Budgeting project will become a serious step in making the transition from the initiative to a platform, to building a permanent mechanism for developing a city, which is friendly towards children and teenagers, on the way towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the UNICEF representative, the project was presented in the Belarusian Finance Ministry on 27 August and met a strong interest. As an example Rashed Mustafa Sarwar mentioned the project’s successful implementation in 20 out of 85 constituent territories of the Russian Federation. “It does not require any serious additional expenses. Instead it requires thorough analysis and more precise financing. The city’s budget needs to be calculated taking into account interests of children and teenagers and needs to be discussed with the youth parliament,” he explained.
Rashed Mustafa Sarwar thanked organizers of the forum “Child and teenager friendly city: From an initiative to a platform for localizing the Sustainable Development Goals”, which is taking place in Mogilev on 28-29 August. “Representatives of youth from 25 Belarusian towns and cities, which are taking part in the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, will bolster ties between cities and teenager parliaments of the entire country. I hope that everyone will get unforgettable and positive experience from this forum,” said Rashed Mustafa Sarwar.
In turn, Vladimir Tsumarev expressed interest in continuing the implementation and promotion of the initiative. He suggested working out an action plan and joint projects for the near future and long-term future. “We are interested in supporting kids and young people because we understand perfectly well that they represent the most effective investments because they are investments in our future,” he added.
According to the Mogilev mayor, positive dynamics in the development of the city economy allows gradually enhancing the physical infrastructure of social sphere institutions in the interests of kids, of which there are over 70,000 in Mogilev. Education institutions are being vigorously built in new residential areas. A school and two children daycare centers have been opened in the housing estate Sputnik in the last few years. A children daycare center has been opened in Kazimirovka. The foundation for a new school has been built in this area, too. The number of outdoor sport grounds has been increased in the city. The network of bicycle tracks is now 18km long. As many as 83 bicycle parking lots have been built. “A comfortable and safe environment conducive to the development and socialization of children, teenagers, and youth has been created and continues developing in Mogilev,” stressed Vladimir Tsumarev.
Mogilev decided to embrace UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative in 2013. Steps were taken since then to gradually involve kids and adults in the initiative. A youth parliament under the Mogilev City Council of Deputies has been created. Positive experience of implementing initiatives, projects for various kinds of recreation, healthy lifestyle, patriotic and social education of children and youth has been accumulated over the four years since the parliament was set up.