Members of an Ad hoc Parliamentary Committee have said they will advocate for increased funding for youth development programmes in the country.

The youth sector is facing serious challenges with regards to funding and proper guiding documents for youth programmes such as the Youth Policy which is said to have expired last year.

Members of a special committee of parliament said this after visiting Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) offices in Lilongwe to appreciate the work the organisation is implementing to the advancement of rights for youth, women and children.

Speaking to YFM, leader of the delegation, Wakuda Kamanga said they are going to use the mid-year budget review meeting to lobby for an increased allocation to the youth sector for the propelling of various youth oriented programs in the country.

“As Members of Parliament we want to critically look into the budget line that is looking at youth programs because YONECO has presented a request for us to lobby for more funding for youth programs, for 2018-2019 it is less than 1 percent which is sad,” explained Kamanga.

In his remarks YONECO’s Executive Director MacBain Mkandawire described the visit by the committee of parliament as an honour.

“We need to look at youth funding different, it is important that we have our own youth ministry which will look into the issues affecting the youth because currently it’s just an addendum and issues of the youth they are not being given the attention they deserve,” said Mkandawire.

He further said a delay in developing the national youth policy will have a negative impact on the progress of various youth programs and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

In the 2018- 2019 fiscal year the youth component was only allocated money amounting to less than 1 percent of the national budget.

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