ZAMFARA State government wand United Nations Children’s Funds, UNICEF, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for N3.4 billion for 2017 annual work plan covering health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, to accelerate the realisation of the rights of children and women to survival, development, protection and participation. This was contained in a statement signed by the chief executive of UNICEF, Sokoto Field Office, Mohammed Mohiuddin, and made available to Nigerian Pilot in Gusau yesterday. The statement said Zamfara State government and UNICEF were committed to working in partnership to implement and attain UNICEF’s goals in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, UNDAF, and its action plan for 2014 to 2017. The UNICEF stated that in 2016, it extended its WASH programme to three new local government areas of Bakura, Maru and Shinkafi, in addition to existing three LGAs of Birnin-Magaji, Talata- Mafara and Tsafe, in line with UNICEF’s goal of increasing access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene, adding that this year, UNICEF had introduced Cash Transfer Programme to poor families in three LGAs of Bukkuyum, Maradun and Zurmi in the state aimed at bringing back huge number of out of school children to school. The UNICEF further said current hard to reach project has been expanded to 100 additional settlements in two LGAs of Bakura and Bungudu, in addition to 150 settlements in six LGAs of Gusau, Tsafe, Kaura-Namoda, Shinkafi, Talata-Mafara and Maradun receiving basic comprehensive maternals, newborn and child services from trained and motivated outreach teams. The development partner also called on Zamfara State government to make a strong commitment with more budgetary allocations, timely release of committed counterpart funds and collaboration with development partners towards implementation activities outlined in the work plan. It also stressing that the 2017 annual work plan which was jointly developed by the state and UNICEF offered a huge opportunity in improving the indicators provided all parties fulfil their commitments in the work plan.