Development minister Kitir takes to the stage at Global Citizen festival in New York

Belgian minister of Development Cooperation Meyrame Kitir appreared on stage at the Global Citizen festival on Saturday, in New York's Central Park, to highlight the importance of social protection. She also announced a support package of €2,6 million for the expansion of mutual health organisations in Senegal and Burkina Faso.

"I think it is not normal for girls to be married off at 14 and become mothers. Having a child while you are still a child yourself has a negative impact on the rest of your life. Parents should not be faced, due to a lack of money, with the choice of whether to send their daughter to school or marry her off. Girls belong in school and should be able to make their own choices", Kitir explained.

"Parents should not be faced, due to a lack of money, with the choice of whether to send their daughter to school or marry her off."

The Belgian Development minister is therefore releasing 2,6 million euros for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) programme to build mutual health organisations, in order to make health care more accessible in the West African countries of Senegal and Burkina Faso. The money is meant to help local girls take control of their own future.

Global Citizen is an annual music festival intended to fight extreme poverty and is organised simultaneously with the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The 60.000 tickets are distributed free of charge to fans who have done their bit for good causes. This year, world-renowned bands and artists such as Metallica, Mariah Carey and Måneskin are performing at the event.




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