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More than 70,000 Tongan women and children will benefit from an increase in access to resources and services with the launch of a nationwide survey results to inform the government on development areas that need the most support, including education, child protection, health as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.
Tuesday, as the small Pacific Island country celebrates World Statistics Day, the Government of Tonga, supported by UNICEF and UNFPA, in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC), officially launched Tonga’s nationwide data on children and women from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS).
“I believe that World Statistics Day has the greatest opportunity to mark the valuable contribution of statistics towards development in Tonga,” said Tonga Government Statistician, Dr Viliami Konifelenisi Fifita.
“The fact that MICS contains high quality and reliable statistics that are essential for measuring progress in reaching development goals as well as provide essential information on the effectiveness of policies and programmes, its official launching on the Statistics Day marks its significant contribution to the Kingdom of Tonga.”
Developed and supported by UNICEF, MICS is the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on women and children worldwide. It aims to strengthen the country’s progress towards national goals and global commitments to promote the welfare of women and children.
Led by the Tonga Statistics Department, the Survey has collected data on health, nutrition, child protection, education, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as domestic violence amongst other topics. It provides disaggregated data for identification of disparities to inform policies aimed at social inclusion of the most vulnerable population.
“We are proud to be supporting the Government of Tonga, along with our partners, in taking a step forward to ensure that we all have the required information and data to steer our work going forward for the overall achievement of national development plans and global Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett.
There are 232 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators from which around one-third can be generated by household surveys. Out of all household survey based SDG indicators, 33 are covered by MICS.
The survey results have also been launched at an opportune time as the global pandemic, COVID-19, has affected some Pacific Island countries. The newer data will support the government in their preparedness and response activities to support the country during this global crisis.
‘We commend the Government of Tonga for prioritizing the collection of data to better understand the current situation of women and young people. The survey results provide the Government of Tonga with critical data to further shape evidence based, inclusive responses to address the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, adolescents and youth, and to ending gender based violence, leaving no one behind,” said UNFPA Pacific Director, Dr Jennifer Butler. …. PACNEWS
For more information about UNICEF Pacific and its work for children, follow UNICEF Pacific on Twitter and Facebook
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SOURCE: UNICEF PACIFIC/PACNEWS
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