The outgoing United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)Country Representative for Botswana and SADC, Ms Juliana Lindsey bade farewell to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax on 27thFebruary 2020.
Ms Lindsey thanked Her Excellency Dr. Tax for the cordial relationship and good collaboration achieved between SADC and UNICEF during her four-year tenure of office, in particular, in the area of Food and Nutrition. This collaboration has been built on the foundation that started in 2008 when UNICEF provided support to the SADC Programme on Orphan & Vulnerable Children. She said that she was pleased to note that during her tenure the collaboration between the two institutions has been strengthen through a number of activities, and the renewal of the letter of intent between UNICEF and SADC Secretariat in 2018.
Ms Lindsey underscored the critical role that UNICEF continues to play, through provision of technical support in the integration of nutrition into the SADC Regional Vulnerability, Assessment and Analysis (RVAA) programme within the SADC Integration of Nutrition, HIV and Gender (INHG)Technical Working Group. She said this programme has ensured production of a comprehensive annual RVAA Synthesis Report that highlights food and nutrition security and vulnerability status.
In her response, Her Excellency Dr Tax conveyed her gratitude to Ms Lindsey for her utmost support and dedicated service to the SADC region, and wished her the best in her future endeavours. She applauded Ms. Lindsey for being a good ambassador to the regional body and all SADC Member States. This was reflected through the efforts made by UNICEF, together with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Regional Interagency Standing Committee (RIASCO), in the response to SADC Regional Humanitarian Appeal in 2015/16. She paid homage to UNICEF for its role is assisting the SADC region following the aftermath of Cyclone IDAI and Kenneth, through provision of technical inputs for the development of the Regional Humanitarian Appeal as well as support in the development of preparedness, response and recovery plans including provision of life saving health and nutrition interventions.
Her Excellency Dr Tax said that the SADC region is currently working on a new strategic plan to replace the SADC Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2015-2020) which is in its fifth and final year. She emphasized that the priorities for the region remains the same, while the focus may change to reinforce efforts and impact on special programmes of regional dimensions.
The two parties agreed to further strengthen collaboration and ensure continuity in the areas of partnership and work towards a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions.
Her Excellency Dr. Tax was accompanied by Ms Panduleni Elago, Programme Food Security and Mr. Maxwell Mkumba, Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Executive Secretary.
27 February 2020