Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence receiving a copy of the Guyana Situation Analysis of Children and Women report from UNICEF Country Representative Marianne FlachA section of the gathering at the handing-over ceremonyThe United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday handed over the Guyana Situation Analysis of Children and Women, highlighting vulnerable groups and what can be done to strengthen them with critical data gathered.The analysis was conducted by UNICEF in collaboration with the Government of Guyana, and the report was handed over to Government at the Herdmanston Lodge, Queenstown.Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, UNICEF’s Country Representative, Marianne Flach said the analysis gathered data on vulnerable groups of women and children, and helped to place emphasis on critical areas.Flach, whose tour in Guyana will be ending soon, added too that the data gathered would also ensure that adequate resources were allocated in all sectors particularly in the realisation of children’s rights.“Sufficient, equitable and efficient investment in children is crucial for the realisation of children’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights… Before, our concern was quantity – how much we spend on children and on what – now, our concern is also quality – how the money is spent and to what extend it produces results for children,” the UNICEF representative stated, as she pledged the organisation’s commitment to Guyana’s effort.Meanwhile, First Lady Sandra Granger, in delivering brief remarks, pointed out that in this age of technology, Guyana could not afford to lag behind in the compilation and dissemination of critical data such as that contained in the analysis.“This Situation Analysis is a welcomed resource since it will provide researchers, policy-makers and interested observers with information on the status of women and children in Guyana. It will provide the information needed to assess the progress which has been made and recognise the challenges we face,” the First Lady noted.She continued that the data would also reveal how well Guyana was doing as well as identify the areas in which such progress has been made.“It indicates also the areas in which we need to improve and hopefully guide our actions as we seek to address the burning issues that tear at the fabric of our society,” Mrs Granger added.On the other hand, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence recognised that the Situation Analysis paved the way for comprehensive actions to be taken to address the many struggles that Guyanese woman and children face.“We can now act with more precision. We have an overall vivid picture of the situation as it is presented in each category. With this information and demographics outlined therein, we have directives that can give us and guide us to those areas that need to be emphasised in order to make significant inroad,” she remarked.To this end, the Social Protection Minister posited that a multi-sectoral approach is needed to achieve this. “The information in this document must be shared, disseminated and used by all stakeholders in collaboration with each sector to stand out the ills that arrive in our society,” she noted.Moreover, Lawrence went on to say that the report came at an opportune time as the Social Protection Ministry was in the process of shaping strategies to address the social issues affecting women and children in Guyana.“The Ministry of Social Protection recently initiated a multi-sectoral, high-level policy dialogue, organised in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in an effort to advance programming for adolescents and youth. This document…will be critical for mapping the strategies for enhancing the well-being of our children and women as it focuses on the possible causes of the problems along with an assessment of the data, [the] bottlenecks and barriers that have been surmounted,” Minister Lawrence said.Copies of the Guyana Situation Analysis of Children and Women were handed over to the First lady and Social Protection Minister.