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Birth registration efforts advance with funding support announcements for Cameroon, Tanzania

Birth registration efforts advance with funding support announcements for Cameroon, Tanzania

Reports of funding support for the implementation of different civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and birth registration projects have emerged from Cameroon and Tanzania this week.

Cameroon councils get $443K support for birth certificate issuance

In Cameroon, the government, via the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, has given a grant of 266 million Francs CFA (US$443,000) to 21 local councils in seven regions to support the issuance of birth certificates.

The grant is the subject of a convention signed with the councils recently, a day before the commemoration of the International Day of the African Child on June 16.

Family Affairs Minister Marie-Thérèse Abena Ondoa says the move is in line with the mandate of government to recognize children’s fundamental rights by issuing them foundational IDs.

She urged all the beneficiary councils to carry out a sensitization campaign to ensure that as many birth certificates as possible are issued before the new school year begins on September 4.

“This is the second time we are carrying out this exercise. Last year, we did it with nine councils in four regions. That is, the Adamawa, Center, East and North West regions. It is extremely important to sensitize the parents to do this for their children before it becomes financially heavy for them,” said Abena Ondoa.

“We have millions of children without a birth certificate. Without a birth certificate, a child cannot take an official exam. So, our objective as a ministry is to make sure that every child that is born in any family has legal existence.”

Jean-Baptiste Atemengue, the mayor of one of the beneficiary councils said the support is laudable and it will enable his Ngoumou council in the Center Region, to increase the number of children on the civil registration database.

“This is a very important step, and I am very happy for our children because they will now be able to have legal existence as birth certificates will be established for them. We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the minister,” he says.

Under the program, birth certificates will be issued gratis to all children whose parents solicit the document.

The move comes not long after the French Development Agency signed a funding agreement with Cameroon to support a similar birth registration drive in the Western part of the country.

Tanzania set for civil registration reforms with grant from Italy

In a similar grant support story in Tanzania, the government recently concluded a deal worth €410,000 ($447,000) with the Italian government to reform and strengthen its CRVS system, Daily News reports.

Per the deal, the funds will enable Dar es Salaam to decentralize civil registration by making registration facilities available in more wards, health centers and hospitals. The system is expected to reach 405 health centers and hospitals in 245 wards.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dr. Natu Mwamba, is quoted as saying that the project will see the birth registration of 348,391 children in 11 district councils of the Tonga Region.

Activities to be carried out, as part of the project, include strong awareness and sensitization campaigns with community and local government leaders.

The general idea is to ensure that all children under the age of five in target council areas and enrolled for birth certificates.

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