Inter Press Service reported on 27 September on the occurrence of fistula in the country. There are 12,000 recorded cases of fistula per year. "A quarter of the national total is recorded in the province of Maniema alone, in the east of the DRC," says Jules Mulimbi Kaboyi, who directs the United Nations Fund for Population office in the Congolese capital. UNFPA works to provide support and treatment women suffering from fistulas. Read in English: Inter Press Service
IRIN reported on 22 July that more than three years ago, peace accords signed in the South Kivu provincial capital, Goma, were supposed to signal the end of violence and displacement in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, as the country heads for general elections in November, armed factions continue to destabilize the country. IRIN explores the sticking points in the protracted conflict, which has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians. The numbers of displaced from North and South Kivu are alarming. More than 1.7 million civilians were displaced due to attacks and armed confrontations as of 31 March 2011, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). UNFPA estimates 60 women suffer sexual violence each week. Other incidents, in which Congolese and foreign armed groups collect illegal taxes, loot, burn villages, and commit other atrocities, go uncounted. OCHA documented 142 attacks on humanitarian workers since the beginning of 2010. Read: IRIN
Gender Links published a column on 12 January by Nikki Whaites on the lack of media attention to the ongoing “epidemic” of rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She wrote, “The exact number of women and girls who have experienced sexual abuse in the DRC is not known. In 2008, UNFPA reported 15,996 registered cases of sexual violence across the country. And 65% of those were children, the majority girls – 10 per cent were under the age of 10.” Read: Gender Links
IPS reported on 9 December that ushering in Human Rights Day, Harvard University's School of Public Health, together with UNFPA, released a comprehensive new manual on applying and promoting a human rights-based approach to all developmental agendas. The manual, which has been in the works for over three years, is in fact a highly detailed guidebook on how to apply a "culturally sensitive, gender-responsive, human rights-based approach to programming," in UNFPA's key focus-areas: gender justice, population and development issues and reproductive health. "The purpose of this manual was to translate standards and norms that already exist into direct action and tangible programmes that actually touch people," said Aminata Toure, chief of Gender, Culture and Human Rights at the UNFPA. Read: IPS
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported on 8 December reported on the situation fifteen years after the Dayton Accords peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNFPA warned of the danger of failing to protect women from war crimes and urged that they be included much more in efforts to avert conflict and rebuild countries after conflicts in its annual State of the World Population report, published in October. The scale of the atrocities committed in Bosnia and then in Rwanda in the 1990’s led to the UN passing a resolution in 2000 urging governments to protect women from rape and work much more with women to heal trauma after a conflict. But UNFPA observed that the resolution has achieved little. Rape is widespread in Sudan and eastern Congo now. And Bosnia has failed to heal the wounds of the war and continues to be paralyzed by ethnic division. But Bosnia is not high on the priorities of the international community. UNFPA has spent “close to nothing” on this problem since the war, according to an official, largely because it has hoped the state would tackle it. It now plans to invest more in this area. According to the Federal Health Ministry, the Swiss government has recently provided three years of funding for a mental health reform project. “Bosnia for us has been really a pilot. It was the first time the UN was faced with a situation of mass rape being used as a weapon of war,” said Upala Devi, an expert on the implementation of the UN resolution at UNFPA headquarters in New York. “Based on our achievements—or lack of—in the past 10 years (since the resolution came into force) we are now making more efforts to address the issues of women, peace, and security,” she says. Read: BMJ
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Tele-Congo and Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 7 and 9 December on a conference organized by the Gender Affairs Ministry, UNFPA and the UN system to sensitize young people and children from various schools of Brazzaville to violence against women. The event took place in the framework of the 16-Days Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Children were sensitized by experts from the Gender Affairs Ministry and participated in an event meant to inspire them to reject violence against women in all its forms. Watch in French: Tele-Congo
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Gender Links (South Africa) reported on 6 December on the stories of rape survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which made up continuing coverage on the 16 Days Campaign. “As soon as an armed group considers that the civilian population it is confronted with is against its presence, it will commit crimes against it, including sexual violence. It is a form of terrorism that is employed by armed groups, specifically in areas where there is no authority,” said Aziza Aziz-Suleimani of UNFPA. Read: Gender Links
GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 9-12 December that UNFPA Georgia marked the International Human Rights Day by conducting the South Caucasus Regional Photo Exhibition on Women’s Rights. The exhibition brought together artworks from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and was held simultaneously in the three countries of the South Caucasus. The exhibition coincided with the closing of the ongoing global 16 days campaign against Gender-Based Violence and the International Human Rights day to emphasize that violence against women is a violation of human rights and that women’s rights is part of the human rights agenda. Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia George Tsereteli, Ambassador of the United States of America to Georgia John Bass, Ambassador of Norway to Azerbaijan and Georgia, Erling Skjønsberg and Assistant Representative a.i. of UNFPA in Georgia Lela Bakradze made opening speeches at the event summarizing the 16 days of activism and declaring their commitment to work around women’s rights and violence against women. Other invitees include representatives of parliament, government, and diplomatic corps, international and nongovernmental organizations. Read: GINSC and 24 Saati Read in Georgian: Media News
INDONESIA: The Jakarta Post reported on 10 December that an online competition aiming at eradicating violence against women will end today but it continues to receive responses especially on its Facebook account composed of 1,258 members so far. The Dimulai dari Saya! (It Starts with Me) competition is conducted by United Nations Indonesia and urges all participants, especially men, to post comments, short essays, pictures, videos, designs or sketches related to the issue from 25 November (the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December through its Facebook and Twitter accounts. UNFPA national program officer for media and communications, Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo noted that the winner will be announced in January. Read: The Jakarta Post
NIGERIA: Daily Trust reported on 10 December that women worldwide commenced the commemoration of this year's 16 days Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) on 25 November. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence is an International campaign that was started by the Centre for Global Leadership in 1991. The 16 Days campaign runs from November 25 which is the International Day of Violence against Women to 10 December, International Human Rights Day annually. According to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social development, Iyom Josephine Anenih, the 16 Days ends on the International Human Rights Day to symbolically link Violence Against Women and Human Rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. Iyom Anenih said the public and government officials are encouraged to wear a white ribbon during the 16 day period, adding “a white ribbon is a symbol of peace and is meant to demonstrate the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.” She said the ministry in collaboration with relevant government agencies, development partners, CSOs, and NGOs key among them UNIFEM,UNFPA, ACTION AID, WRAPA, NTA and FRCN is planning to embark on a campaign to mark this year's 16 Days Activism on Violence Against Women.
PAKISTAN: Pakistan Tribune and The Daily Times reported on 11 December that, underscoring the role that media could play effective role in creating public awareness around gender-based violence (GBV), MNA Sherry Rehman said that youth, human rights activists, member of civil society, media and with Pakistani woman should come forward to eliminate GBV in the country. Ms. Rehman was speaking as a chief guest on the launch of a report on Youth, Media and Gender-based Violence titled “Through The Gender Lens” by UKs research, resource and publication centre to mark the International Human Rights Day. The report launch was organized by UKs in collaboration with UNFPA. Read: Pakistan Tribune and Daily Times
ZIMBABWE: Africa News published an op-ed on 10 December by Congressman Donald Payne and Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE marking the 16 Days of Activism with a call for government action, and specifically for the U.S. Congress to pass the International Violence Against Women Act. They wrote, “Although violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights abuses in the world, it is severely under-reported. In countries such as the DRC, where according to a recent United Nations Population Fund report, 7,700 acts of sexual violence were reported during the first six months of 2010, social attitudes often condone violence against women, and stigmatize and blame the survivor . . . But even as we shine a spotlight on the plight of so many women and girls in the DRC and beyond, a stronger global response is needed. Governments must implement global commitments to protect women's rights during conflict, including U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 which calls for increased participation of women in peacebuilding efforts.” Read: Africa News
IRIN reported on 27 October that the perception that women are only ever victims of conflict ignores the large numbers of female combatants, which can result in their exclusion from disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes. The UNFPA report, State of World Population 2010: From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change, released on 20 October 2010, acknowledges the role women play in forging peace, but cautions against the assumptions of women as nurturers and "natural peace-makers ... [choosing] non-violent solutions rather than conflict whenever possible.” Read: IRIN
IPS reported on 25 October on the week-long debate on the role of women in peace and security which coincides with the tenth anniversary of a landmark Security Council resolution 1325 calling for a key role for women in peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations and the State of World Population 2010 report. The report, “From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change" points out that feminists have often argued that women are natural peacemakers and would choose non-violent solutions rather than conflict, whenever possible. "Since ancient times, however, women have gone to war and the conflicts in contemporary times have involved many women, by choice or forced recruitment," it notes. The study, authored by the former New York Times U.N. Bureau Chief Barbara Crossette, said that ethnic conflict and nationalistic or class-related causes have drawn committed women into civil wars and sometimes terrorism. Read: IPS (25 October)
BANGLADESH: Multiple media outlets reported on 25-29 October that the government, represented by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, disputed demographic figures published in UNFPA’s State of World Population 2010 report, and questioned the sources used in the report. The minister said, "They (UNFPA) have made an unwarranted interference… I think they have prepared the report sitting at their New York office." In addition to specific disputes over the figures for the total population and maternal mortality ratio, the government questioned the sources used to generate UNFPA’s estimates, arguing that the most recent figures from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) were discounted. Read: Financial Express (29 October), Financial Express (28 October), Financial Express (27 October), Financial Express (26 October), BD News 24, Zee News
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: AFP reported on 30 October that in Bosnia, Association of Concentration Camp Torture Survivors founder Enisa Salcinovic’s campaign, along with that of other associations and NGOs, forced the government of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat Federation -- one of two semi-independent post-war entities along with the Serb-run Republika Srpska -- to adopt a law in 2008 recognizing women's status as war victims. A coalition of NGOs is working with UNPFA and Bosnia's Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees to create an overall strategy to give women survivors equal status across the country. But everybody -- survivors, NGOs, officials and doctors -- agree that this is only one small step in an extremely slow and painful recovery process for the women. According to UNPFA, 80 per cent of the survivors still experience psychological and physical symptoms. Read: AFP
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 28 October on a statement made by Humanitarian Action Minister, Emilienne Raoul saluting UNFPA humanitarian assistance. At the launching ceremony of the 2010 State of the Population Report, she said, "We wish to express our profound gratitude to UNFPA and its Resident Representative in Congo, for their prompt action on the reproductive health and sexual based violence needs of refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo in Northern Congo. The Minister called upon the government of the DRC to be more active on the diplomatic response to the humanitarian situation. UNFPA Resident Representative David Lawson saluted the government coordination of the response to this crisis with international and national humanitarian partners.
EGYPT: Daily News Egypt reported on 28 October that in an effort to pledge its support for the cause, the Arab League launched the State of the World Population Report for 2010, titled "From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change," from its headquarters last week. “I’m happy to launch the State of the World Population this year from the headquarters of the Arab League and present it to the Arab public opinion in recognition of the great effort and a call to Arabs to benefit from it,” Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said. “[The report] includes facts, information and a deep analysis of the situation of women and girls in Arab states and other countries suffering from conflicts and war, which is worth looking into and studying and this is what the Arab League will do,” he added. The release of the State of World Population 2010, published by UNFPA, coincides with the tenth anniversary of resolution 1325, the Security Council’s groundbreaking move against the abuse of women in conflict and the marginalization of them in peace-building.
GUATEMALA: La Prensa Libre published an opinion by Ileana Alamilla on 25 October on the release of UNFPA’s State of World Population 2010 report. Ms. Alamilla called for the transformation of society to build consciousness of the impact of armed conflict on women. Read in Spanish: La Prensa Libre
HAITI: Guyana Chronicle reported on 29 October that recent studies coming out of UNFPA show that on top of everything else, Haiti is fast heading for a population explosion if something is not done urgently to arrest the situation. “There has been a tripling of fertility since the earthquake, and I’m afraid there is going to be a crisis; this is a troubling trend and we are trying to call the attention of the international community and international actors,” UNFPA representative to Haiti, Igor Bosc, told reporters in Port-au-Prince, ahead of the launch there of this year’s State of the World Population Report. Read: Guyana Chronicle
La Prensa reported on 27-28 October and El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua) reported on 25 October on the launch of the State of World Population 2010 report, which presented Haiti’s recent earthquake as an example of the necessity of UNFPA member states adoption of Resolution 1325, which makes a priority of protecting women and children from gender-based violence in armed conflicts and crises. Read in Spanish: La Prensa (28 October), La Prensa (27 October) and El Nuevo Diario
INDONESIA: Jakarta Globe reported on 25 October that a conference was held in Jakarta to discuss the Ministry for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection’s plan to implement the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325. At the conference, UNFPA Representative Jose Ferraris said that the UN resolution should be given special attention in Indonesia, given the country’s history of gender-based violence. He said this violence include incidents such as the May 1998 riots in Jakarta, where armed mobs raped at least 160 Chinese-Indonesian women. Read: Jakarta Globe
MONGOLIA: English News MN reported on 28 October that when women have access to the same rights and opportunities as men, they are more resilient to conflict and disaster and can lead reconstruction and renewal efforts in their societies, according to the State of World Population 2010, released on October 27 by UNFPA in Mongolia. The ceremony was attended by, among others, S. Banzragch, Advisor to the Parliament Speaker, and Ms. Munkhtseren, Director of the Administrative Management Department, Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor. Read: English News MN
NEPAL/NORWAY: Fokus - Forum for Women and Development featured an article on 28 October in their magazine Kvinner Sammen reporting on the tenth anniversary of the resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The magazine wrote that that UNFPA has supported a project in Nepal working on implementing the resolution. The project has, as a result, been able to provide practical training and advice to local UN agencies and the Nepalese government on how 1325 could be implemented, with emphasis on management, security and legal issues. The article further mentioned that the 20 countries, approximately ten per cent of all UN member that have made action-plans for resolution 1325, are mostly European. In Latin America and Asia, only one country respectively has followed recommendations and created an action plan. In Africa five countries have created a plan on how to implement the resolution. Read in Norwegian: Kvinner Sammen
NICARAGUA: El Nuevo Diario reported on 27 October on the launch of the State of World Population 2010 report. UNFPA Representative Junko Sazaki said that in response to disasters, women’s vulnerability to sexual violence is often overlooked. Read in Spanish: El Nuevo Diario
NIGERIA: This Day reported on 27 October that the Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, recently launched the 2010 State of the World Population Report in London, with the theme "From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change." Read: This Day
SUDAN: UN Radio Miraya, Radio Bakhita and government radio reported on 25 October on the commemoration of World Population Day in Southern Sudan. To mark the event, a four-day workshop was organized by UNFPA and Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation. The media reported that the objective of the workshop was to strengthen the Government Planning Officers and Development Partners’ capacity to analyze, disseminate and utilize data with special emphasis on the data from the fifth Sudan Population and Housing Census for socio-economic development programmes. In his opening remarks, Mr. Mwangulube, IOC UNFPA Southern Sudan Office emphasized the commitment of UNFPA support to the Government of Southern Sudan in generation of data on population dynamics to feed “people centred’’ policies and programmes to meet the MDGs.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Improvements in Education, Child Survival But Greater Efforts Needed – UN
UN News Centre reported on 6 October that the Democratic Republic of Congo has made significant progress in education and child survival in recent years, but much more needs to be done to achieve the anti-poverty MDGs, according to a new United Nations-backed study. Three out of four children now go to school, a 23 per cent increase over 2000 with near parity for girls and boys, the fourth Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), a core research tool for UNICEF, reported. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Planning, the MICS was conducted by the National Institute of Statistics with technical and financial support from UNICEF and contributions from the UN World Food Programme, UNFPA and USAID. It found overall inequalities in the DRC, with indicators worst for the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach women and children. Read: UN News Centre
UN News Centre reported on 31 August that the recent savage mass rapes of civilians by armed groups in the volatile far east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) underscores the need for an end to impunity for perpetrators of such crimes, a senior United Nations official said. According to UNFPA, more than 9,000 cases of rape were reported last year in North and South Kivu provinces alone, while many cases are believed to go unreported. Read: UN News Centre
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: UN Chief Asks Security Council To Do More To Ensure Protection Of Civilians In Armed Conflict
UN News Centre reported on 25 August and Xinhua (China) reported on 26 August that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday called on the UN Security Council to "seriously consider what more we can do to ensure" to protect civilians in peacekeeping operations, referring to the recent incident of savage rape and assault of at least 154 civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to UNFPA, more than 9,000 cases of rape were reported last year in North and South Kivu provinces alone. Many more cases are estimated to go unreported. "Women and children should not have to live in fear of rape," he said. "Communities should not suffer the impunity of knowing that human rights abuses and war criminals can continue to behave with impunity. We must speak out. And we must act," the UN chief said and noted that crimes of sexual violence are "appalling." Read: UN News Centre and Xinhua
Le Potentiel reported on 24 August on the launch of a campaign against early marriages in the Province of Kasai oriental, in the DRC. Organized by UNFPA, in collaboration with the Provincial Ministry of Gender, the campaign was launched by the Governor of the Province. Many activities are scheduled during this campaign, which is going to last for 3 months. Read: Le Potentiel
Voice of America reported on 17 August on a new way of fighting maternal mortality, in Kaziba, in the Province of South Kivu. With the support of UNFPA, the Hospital of Kaziba has created waiting homes to enable pregnant women who live far from the hospital to await their due date. Watch: Voice of America
The Star (Canada) published a column by Rosie DiManno on 28 July on the urgent need for new investments in health in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She wrote, “Every hour of every day, four females in the Democratic Republic of Congo die from complications of pregnancy and labour, according to statistics from UNFPA. For every woman who dies giving birth, between 20 and 30 suffer serious health problems such as obstetric fistula” Read: The Star
Le Observateur and Le Potentiel reported on 27 July on the opening ceremony of the meeting of the Central Africa section of African Youth and Adolescent Network on Population and Development, which was held from 26 -30 July in Kinshasa, DRC. The opening ceremony was chaired by the Principal Adviser of the President of the DRC, in the presence of the Minister of Gender and the Minister of Youth, as well as the Resident Representative of UNFPA in DRC. The Forum’s theme was gender, maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS, was attended by young people from the DRC, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Sao Tomé, Burundi, and Equatorial Guinea. Read in French: Le Observateur and Le Potentiel
ARMENIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 13 July on the celebration of World Population Day in Armenia. UNFPA and partners held the event to highlight the crucial role of data for development instrumental for better tracking and measuring progress toward achievement of the MDGs and for providing an evidence base to guide national policy making. On the occasion of this globally observed day UNFPA in collaboration with partners launched the findings of three nation-wide representative surveys on fertility patterns and preferences and intimate partner violence in Armenia. Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative in Armenia stated in remarks opening the event, “Data helps leaders and policy-makers to make informed decisions about policies and programmes to reduce poverty and hunger, and advance education, health and gender equality.” Read: Armenian Public Radio in Armenian: Armenpress
BANGLADESH: The Daily Star published an op-ed by Md. Asadullah Khan on 15 July on rapid national and global population growth and the history of population policies. Mr. Khan wrote, “While observing the World Population Day, with the slogan ‘Everyone counts,’ stalwarts in the administration and experts in population science cautioned that this unplanned growth of population would further complicate the process of meeting the demand for food, basic health requirements and educational facilities -- triggering unemployment and social unrest in the country.” He called for a renewed family planning effort in Bangladesh “Endorsing the views of Alex Marshall of the UN Population Fund, the programme should be launched in such a humane manner that it does not hurt the sentiments of the rural people. The message should be; there is no such thing as population control. Alex says: ‘You don't control it. You allow people to make up their mind.’” Read: The Daily Star
BOTSWANA: BOPA reported on 16 July on commemorations of World Population Day. UNFPA Representative Sarah Masale said censuses are central to their mandate and mission, adding in Botswana they are substantially involved in the preparations of the forthcoming census exercise hence they are providing technical assistance and material support. She said the census and population data play a critical role in the development and humanitarian response and recovery.
BURKINA FASO: Sidwaya and Le Pays reported on 8 July on the official ceremony of the commemoration of the World Population Day 2010 in Ouagadougou. The Representative of UNICEF Coordinator ad interim read the message which the General Secretary of United Nations delivered at the time of the World Population Day and Sankara Olga, Officer in Charge of UNFPA/Burkina delivered the message of the Executive Director of the UNFPA. Read in French: Sidwaya
CAMEROON: Cameroon Tribune reported on 15 July that the MINEPAT (ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development) and development partners praised the UNFPA country's efforts to update demographic data. The WPD celebration took place in Maroua, the capital of the Far-North region. The 2010 celebration of the World Population Day coincided with the year during which results of the third General Population and Housing Census were published. UNFPA Representative Alain Sibenaler said that this is a great opportunity for Cameroon to access to reliable data because it is one of the conditions of good governance, transparency and effective accountability. He noted that the demographic data helps leaders to make good decisions. Regarding policies and programmes to fight against poverty and hunger and promote education, health and gender equality, Mr. Sibenaler noted that the MDGs in Cameroon show some progress but require stronger action on MDGs 4 and 5 – at the core of all the other MDGs. Walking the talk, UNFPA donated a large consignment of medical equipment, valuated at 15 million CFA francs to the Maroua Regional Hospital.
CAPE VERDE: Multiple media outlets reported on 11-12 July on events marking World Population Day in the country, including a workshop The workshop addressed the theme of Cape Verde’s upcoming census theme “All of us count and we count with all of you,” which fits with this year’s World Population Day theme, “Everyone Counts.” In addition to the workshop, numerous public events were held, and players in the country’s football final wore shirts publicing the theme. Read in Portuguese: RTC and Listen in Portuguese: RTC
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Les Depeches de Brazzaville, DRTV, TV-Congo and Congo-site reported on 11-14 July on the celebration of World Population Day. At the launching ceremony with Women's Affairs Minister, Ms. Jeanne Francoise Leckomba Loumeto and Economy Minister Cabinet Director, UNFPA Representative, Mr. David Lawson saluted the Government completion of the 2007 Population Census. Results should be publicly announced shortly. Mr. Lawson congratulated the Government for financing up to 98 per cent of its census, a rare and noteworthy situation in Africa. He said: "in Congo like elsewhere, the census is essential for the economic development of the country, and must be exempt of non technical considerations." Read in French: Congo-Site, Congo-Site and Watch in French: TV-Congo
COSTA RICA: Multiple media outlets reported on 13-14 July that although the population census will begin in May 2011, with a trial of the census questionnaire to be held between the 23 and 27 August in the community of Palmares. The questionnaire, which includes 30 questions on population and 21 related to housing, will be tested. This information was unveiled during the celebration of World Population Day, organized by UNFPA and National Institute of Statistics and Censuses. Read in Spanish: Diario Extra, La Nación, La prensa Libre
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Le Potential reported on 13 July and Uhuru published on 12 June an op-ed by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid marking World Population Day. Le Potentiel noted UNFPA’s support for the government’s census planning. Read in French: Le Potentiel and Uhuru
ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian News Agency reported on 15 July that Finance and Economic Development State Minister, Mekonen Manyazewal said government is endeavoring to ensure population sensitive sustainable development. Addressing a symposium held in connection with World Population Day, the minister said effective implementation of the national population policy is vital to ensure sustainable development. The head of UNFPA's Ethiopia office, Benoit Kalasa lauded Ethiopia’s effort to control population growth to reduce poverty in the country. Read: Ethiopian News Agency
THE GAMBIA/THE PHILLIPINES: The Daily Observer (The Gambia) published an editorial on 12 July marking World Population Day and noting that UNFPA, in a statement released for World Population Day, called on governments to promote women's reproductive health and prevent maternal and child deaths through family planning programmes and the use of contraceptives. Even the person in charge of direct aid for the poor in the Philippines, Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, is pushing for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill as resources shrink in the recession and the population continues to boom. Read: The Daily Observer
GUATEMALA: The Guatemala Times reported on 13 July on celebrations of World Population Day, noting that UNFPA works with many partners, both within and outside the United Nations system, including governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations, religious leaders and others, to achieve its mission. To better respond to local needs, UNFPA increasingly devotes resources to country-led efforts, placing emphasis on country-focused and country-led implementation to achieve improved results, at the same time addressing mutual accountability and strengthening harmonization and alignment. Read: The Guatemala Times
GUINEA-BISSAU: Nô Pintcha reported on 15 July on the celebration of World Population Day on 9 July. World Population day 2010 had the theme "Everyone Counts” with a focus on the publication of data collected from the 2009 population and housing Census. The UN in Guinea-Bissau called on the Government and the country’s decision makers to effectively utilize the data collected from the Census 2009 in order to make the most efficient investments that meet the needs and circumstances of the population and help to lift people out of poverty. The Prime Minister, the UNFPA Representative and the UN System Coordinator, highlighted the importance of collecting data as a planning tool for development in their speeches. Read in Portuguese: Nô Pintcha
HAITI: Multiple media outlets reported on 8-18 July that World Population Day was celebrated around the topic “Everyone Counts.” The topic “Everyone count” is chosen to stress the census cycle 2010, data analysis for development and the leading role of the agency in terms of population and development. As part of World Population Day celebrations, a workshop was held in Port-au-Prince on the topic of new technologies for census-taking. In addition, stories addressed the upcoming census, the first since the devastating January 2010 earthquake. An accurate will play a crucial role in setting policies. Read in French: AHP Haiti, AlterPresse (18 July) Haiti en Marche, HPN Haiti, AlterPresse (8 July) and in Spanish: AlterPresse
INDONESIA: UN Radio reported on 15 July and Sinar Harapan reported on 13 July that Indonesia does not have data on maternal mortatlity at the district level. Zahidul Huque, UNFPA Representative said, “Maternal mortality in Indonesia is quite high given its economic condition and the infrastructure and we really need to have some good base line that we can refer to because right now we don't have data on maternal mortality at district level, but with the census we can have it at the district level." Read: UN Radio and Read in Bahasa Indonesia: Sinar Harapan
The Jakarta Post reported on 12 July that UNFPA Representative in Indonesia Zahidul Huque said the UN body expected the Indonesian census would provide specific data on instances of maternal mortality, to help Indonesia reach its Millennium Development Goals. “Maternal mortality is still common in Indonesia, but we need a baseline to work with as a reference,” Mr. Huque said. Read: The Jakarta Post
IRAN: IRNA reported on 8 July on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement marking World Population Day. “This year, some 6O countries are collecting data and counting people as part of the 2O1O census process. A census is the only statistical operation that covers the whole population and all areas of a country. UNFPA and other partners are supporting this massive effort in many parts of the world" Secretary Ban said.
JAMAICA: Multiple media outlets reported on 12-15 July events marking World Population Day in Jamaica, including an event attended by UNFPA sub-regional office for the Caribbean, Hernando Agudelo, where plans for the the country’s upcoming census were discussed. Read: Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Observer, Kingston Chronicle
MALAWI: The Nation reported on 16 July on the commemoration of World Population Day in the country, which included UNFPA-sponsored public lectures around the day’s theme of “Everyone Counts.” The events addressed population and development issues, including the country’s ongoing rapid population growth.
NAMIBIA: The New Era reported on 13 July that Namibia commemorated World Population Day with the main event taking place in the Khomas Region. UNFPA Representative Fabian Byomuhangi, who read a speech on behalf of the UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, said: “The theme everyone counts is a theme that speaks of the inherent value and dignity of each human being.” Read: The New Era
NICARAGUA: La Prensa reported on 17 July on the release of a study on population dynamics in Nicaragua released to coincide with World Population Day. According to the study, Managua has expanded so much that the recently named Metropolitan Region and is composed of 30 municipalities in the four departments in the country. Read in Spanish: La Prensa
NIGER: L’Evènement, Le Sahel and l’Indépendant Plus reported on 13-15 July on the celebration of the World Population Day in Tahoua. The Minister of Population, the UNFPA Representative and the Governor of the Tahoua region, highlighted the importance of collecting data as a planning tool for development in their speeches. After the ceremony, they visited a health centre of women living with fistula and waiting for treatment.
NIGERIA: This Day reported on 15 July that as Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark World Population Day, stakeholders yesterday in Abuja said effective use of population data and statistics remains a key strategy to attaining the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals Challenge. This was the submission by Discussants at the event declared to mark World Population Day, according to the Executive Director of the National Population Commission, Samu'ila Danko Makama, "the Federal Government is conscious of the significant role of statistical data in its commitment to providing better life for Nigerians, the key to fulfilling the MDGs target, is availability of data, after the 2006 census exercise, efforts have been made to ensure that this primary objective is met." Also speaking at the event, UNFPA Resident Representative Agathe Lawson observed that, "with world attention focused on achieving the MDGs by 2015, and the up coming summit, the availability of consistent and comparable statistical information has become even more crucial.” Read: This Day
PAKISTAN: Dawn reported on 12 July on World Population Day, noting that Pakistan has a large population and a high population growth rate. It is home to 180 million people, half of which are women, with 4.8 million children added every year. Somewhere in the country, every hour, three women die because of pregnancy associated complications - amounting to more than 30,000 women dying every year. According to UNFPA, one in three of all deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth could be avoided if women who wanted effective contraception had access to it. Family Planning is no doubt one of the most effective and cheapest interventions available for optimal birth spacing and to improve maternal, newborn and child health. Read: DAWN
SENEGAL: Le Soleil reported on 12 July on the celebration of World Population Day. At an event marking World Population Day, UNFPA Representative Rose Gakuba advocated for improving the availability and use of population data for strategic planning of development particularly in poverty reduction program. This year’s theme, “Everyone Counts,” also drew attention to the process of preparation General Census of Population and Housing (GCPH), which will held on 2011. It will be combined with the second national census of agriculture (NAS), the first census of livestock and the Demographic and Health Survey. UNFPA is supporting GCPH and DHS. Read in French: Le Soleil and Le Soleil
SUDAN: Sudan National TV reported on 18 July that the National Population Council in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund celebrated the World Population Day in Khartoum. UNFPA Officer in Charge, Sharareh Amirkhalili addressed the event stressing the significance of data in development planning in Sudan. Ms. Amirkhalili reiterated the importance of capacity development in the areas of not only data collection but also analysis, dissemination, and utilization of data to strengthen Sudan’s institutional capacity for integration of population issues into development planning, particularly at the local level where the need is greater.
SWAZILAND: The Times of Swaziland and The Swazi Observer reported on 15 July on remarks by Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini and Edwin Huiszen, Director of the UNFPA Sub-Regional Office for East and Southern Africa to mark World Population Day. Both commented on the country’s falling life expectancy and rising maternal and newborn mortality, both of which are connected to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
TANZANIA: IPP Media published an editorial on 15 July on World Population Day. It wrote, “UNFPA has been celebrating the World Population Day, reflecting on its activities in various countries, especially the developing ones, where it is supporting countries' efforts to build capacities for data collection and analysis, especially through the population and Housing censuses. Its theme this year is:"Everyone counts." It is a theme which UNFPA Representative Julitta Onabanjo said reflected the importance of population census and surveys in national development planning, reiterating UNFPA's role in assisting poor countries to carry them out.
THAILAND: Multiple media outlets reported on 9-18 July on World Population Day commemorations in Thailand and around the world. UNFPA was an organizer of a seminar on 9 July where Najib Assifi, UNFPA Representative in Thailand and Deputy Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, opened the function at noon followed by the Prime Minister's key note speech on "Better Data: Better Development" which emphasized the importance of data for development and challenges Thailand is facing from the rapid population aging, high population mobility and foreign migrants. An expert panel discussed the rapid demographic changes under way in Thailand and highlighted the important role census data can play in national development and business planning. At the same function, there was a screening of "Everyone Counts," a film produced by UNFPA Thailand to promote the upcoming census in Thailand was very much impressed by the audience.
URUGUAY: Multiple media outlets reported on 10-15 July on an event to celebrate World Population Day. UNFPA presented with the University of the Republic the first master program in the country on demography and population studies. Presenters highlighted the importance of demographic data to better attend population needs and stressed that the census foreseen for 2011 will increase substantially the amount and quality of demographic data, then improving policy making in the country. The last census was carried out in 1996. Read in Spanish: El Observador, Espectador, Sociedad Uruguaya, IPS and Semanario Eco,
BNO reported on 13 July recent clashes between the army in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and some Ugandan rebels caused that approximately 20,000 people fled from their villages in the North Kivu province, the United Nations reported.There were also reports of a large number of sexual violence cases between May and June in the Isiro area of Haut-Uele. According to local officials, perpetrators of those acts of violence are believed to be civilians. In 2009, UNFPA reported 15,275 cases of rape, mostly by armed men. Read: BNO
IRIN reported on 12 July that it is depressingly easy to find examples of how the DRC's justice system completely fails to prosecute rape - in a country with 17,500 reported incidents of sexual violence in 2009, according to UNFPA, representing only a tiny fraction of the total as most rapes go unreported. Read: IRIN
The Mail and Guardian (South Africa) reported on 18 June that in 2009 half of all victims of sexual violence in the DRC were children, according to UNFPA. In eastern DRC where fighting between armed groups continues to cause widespread instability and where more than a million people are displaced, sexual violence has become a standard weapon of war, a tool to destroy communities and to intimidate them. Unicef estimates that currently one quarter of all cases of sexual violence against minors are perpetrated by members of armed groups. Read: Mail and Guardian
UN News Service reported on 11 May that President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has assured top United Nations officials of his resolve to promote the emergence an AIDS-free generation, ensure safer motherhood and eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in his own country and beyond. "These are priorities for the women and children of my country," he told a joint mission led by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. Read: UN News Service
Multiple media outlets reported on 8 and 9 May that Thoraya Obaid and Michel Sidibé started their tour of the DRC with meetings with governmental officials and partners, including civil society organizations. At their arrival, both executive directors said they come to get first hand information on the ongoing programmes of cooperation with the DRC , to show support to the authorities on their efforts to fight HIV/AIDs and maternal mortality, and to urge the government and the parliament to make those fights a national priority by devoting more resources to them. The trip agenda includes an address to the Parliament, meetings with the highest authorities, including the Head of State. Read in French: APA, Groupe Le Avenir, Le Potentiel and Radio Okapi
Pana reported on 29 April and UN News Service reported on 30 April that Margot Wallstrom, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, urged the UN Security Council to address gender-based violence, while John Holmes, the top United Nations humanitarian official visited the province of South Kivu in the troubled east of the DRC and stressed that protecting civilians and ensuring they have access to aid remains ultimately the responsibility of the national authorities. Both articles noted that, in 2009, according to the UNFPA, an estimated 8,300 rapes were committed against women, averaging 160 rapes per week. Read: Pana and UN News Service
Le Potentiel reported on 26 April on a visit that UNFPA representative Richard Dackam- Ngatchou to the province of Katanga. During his visit, the Representative along with other UNFPA staff, participated at the ceremony of installation in its new building of the Unit of the National Police in charge of protecting women and children against sexual violence. The building was handed over by Mr. Dackam- Ngatchou to the Governor of the Province AND was renovated by UNFPA. Read in French: Le Potentiel
Le Potentiel reported on 19 April and Radio Okapi reported on 16 April on a recent visit by UNFPA Representative Richard Dackam- Ngatchou, in the province of Kasai Oriental, where he handed over the keys of the maternity of the main Hospital to the governor of the province. The maternity was renovated and equipped in commodities and drugs by the UNFPA country office. Read in French: Le Potentiel and Radio Okapi
The Siasat Daily reported on 16 April and UN News Centre reported on 14 April that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallström is on her first tour since her appointment in February, making her way through the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu where more than 8,000 women were raped by warring factions in 2009, according to UNFPA. Read: The Siasat Daily and UN News Centre
IRIN reported on 12 March that “Armed groups such as the LRA and FDLR commit atrocities that amount to grave breaches of international humanitarian law and, in some instances, may also constitute crimes against humanity,” according to UN experts. “In North Kivu, an assistance provider for victims of sexual violence recorded 3,106 cases between January and July 2009; half of these cases were perpetrated by FARDC members,” a group of seven UN experts said in their second report on the situation in DRC, submitted to the Security Council on 8 March. “There is a correlation between peace and rape,” Bora Kawende, acting head of the UNFPA office in North Kivu, recently told IRIN. “During war, soldiers here commit collective, massive rape.” Read: IRIN
The Guardian (Nigeria) reported on 1 March that the army of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has begun trying some of the soldiers accused of a five-day orgy of rape and pillage in a small town in the east of the country, one of a string of such incidents in the war-torn region. Sexual violence committed by warring factions has now become endemic in the eastern DRC and the number of women raped in the area topped 8,000 last year, according to estimates released by UNFPA. Read: The Guardian