The Canadian government has delivered 12 vehicles to Mozambique’s Ministry of Justice to boost its Civil Registration and Life Statistics (RCEV) system.

The donation, which was handed over here Monday, consisted of 11 Toyota Land Cruisers and one Toyota minibus, valued at around 369,000 US dollars.

The vehicles were acquired with funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), channeled through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Justice Minister Isaque Chande said the four-wheel drive vehicles would allow greater efficiency in the mobile birth registration campaigns, which have traditionally been financed by UNICEF.

Most births, particularly in the Mozambican countryside, still go unregistered. Chande stressed that the government’s target is to increase registration of births from the current 48 per cent to 80 per cent by 2020.

He was convinced that the Registry and Notary Services would show a high degree of responsibility in using the vehicles correctly, ensuring access to birth registration in the most remote areas of our country that vehicles can reach.

UNICEF representative Marcoluigi Corsi explained that, with the new vehicles, it is hoped to bring the Registry Services closer to citizens.

Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to a name and a nationality, as soon as they are born, which opens the path to other rights. This ceremony represents our efforts to achieve this basic children’s right, he said.

In May 2016, the Canadian government and UNICEF, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), signed an agreement on strengthening the RCEV systems in Mozambique. Under this agreement, Canada has made 19.5 million Canadian dollars over a five year period.