'Information about the allocation has to be made public. The government must assess the implementation rate of the child budget'
International aid group Save the Children on Thursday urged the government to expand the budget allocation for children—often dubbed child budget—in the upcoming fiscal year (FY2019-20) to ensure their welfare and protect their rights.
The non-government organization (NGO) made the call at a media briefing, held at the National Press Club in Dhaka.
Stating that the child budget has been fluctuating ever since its introduction in the FY2015-16, the NGO’s Deputy Director Md Ashiq Iqbal said they remained in the dark about the actual spending of the budget.
“Information about the allocation has to be made public. The government must assess the implementation rate of the child budget,” he suggested.
Citing growing number of children's rights violation, Ashiq went on to say that the government had to concentrate on inclusive development, instead of economic growth alone.
"A large number of children remain subjected to geographical deprivation—something that needs special attention from the government," he stated, suggesting a district-level budget to bolster the security of children under the social safety net program.
Speaking at the event, Save the Children Director Abdullah Al Mamun said under-privileged children needed special allocation in the budget.
A statement revealed at the briefing said allocation for health sector in FY2017-18 accounted for 5.2% of the total budget, which dropped by 0.2% in the current fiscal year (FY2018-19).
It further added that budgetary allocation for the education sector dropped in FY2017-18 to 11% of the total budget, compared to FY2016-17.
Earlier on Wednesday, Deputy Speaker of the National Parliament Md Fazle Rabbi Miah also said there was no clear information to determine if the budget allocated for children was being spent accordingly.
He was addressing the opening meeting of the caucus on children affairs of the 11th Parliament.