Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative (SCFMI)
Nationally, the CFCI or Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative (SCFMI) as it is commonly known, was birthed in 2014 through a collaborative effort among UNICEF, UNDP, The Belize Mayors’ Association, the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development and the nine participating municipalities of the City of Belmopan, Belize City, Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, San Pedro Town, Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. Dangriga Town, Punta Gorda Town and the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. To this end, the SCFMI indirectly benefits some 83,000 children and adolescents living in the nine municipalities. The long-term objective of the SCFMI is to ensure sustainable results for children and commitment to advancing child rights through capacity building of local stakeholders. As such, the Initiative is an evolving process; one that is inextricably linked to the pursuit and achievement of the SDGs. The SCFMI approach indirectly supports local governments in implementing the 2030 Global Agenda through holistically addressing issues related to the health and well-being of children and families at the local level. The link between the CFCI and the 2030 Global Agenda, therefore, is not only about mirroring the SDG targets, but also about focusing on local development. In 2017 and in tandem with the Goals and Outcomes specified in the National Children’s Agenda, 2017-2030, the National Committee for Families and Children was engaged as a partner and continues to provide strategic guidance and oversight as a member of the National SCFM Programme Steering Committee. Subsequent to the launch of the Children’s Agenda, the municipalities took the decision to align the SCFMI to the National Children’s Agenda 2017-2030 which provides for improved policy relevance and sustainability of the Initiative. In this regard, the child friendly municipal strategic plans for the respective municipalities were developed with UNICEF’s support and prioritizes one or more of the five National Outcomes and the six Transformational Goals for implementation over the period 2017-2021. Subsequent cycles leading up to 2030 will see additional outcomes and goals being addressed.