Keep children out of harm’s way, UNICEF Executive Director urges Zimbabweans

Harare, 8 March, 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, Mr. 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,” he said, “and that they have uninterrupted access to basic social services. Children are not political and should be sheltered, in all countries, from political turbulence.”

During the visit, Mr. 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 which have received medicines and textbooks respectively through a donor-supported funding mechanism managed by UNICEF.

For more information, please contact:

Victor Chinyama, Chief of Communication, Zimbabwe; vchinyama@unicef.org; +263 772 124 268
Sarah Crowe, Spokesperson for the Executive Director; scrowe@unicef.org: +1646 209 1590