Modern Ghana reported 19 December that the European Commission and the United Nations launched two Ghana projects that are being funded under the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) in commemoration of International Migrants Day. Daouda Toure, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, said “The Joint initiative is unique as it capitalizes on the expertise and resources of European Commission and several United Nations Agencies and IOM to make migration work for development.” At the country level UNDP acts as the focal point for JMDI implementation with a UN Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATC) providing technical backstopping. The IATC comprises representatives from UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, ILO and IOM. Read: Modern Ghana
The Phnom Penh Post reported 18 December that Pen Sophanara, communications officer at UNFPA, said her organization financed the building of waiting houses in two provinces in 2006, as well as another two recently this year. “We see that this project is useful in promoting maternal health and the health of the baby during the delivery process,” she said. maternal health centres are to be built in a number of Cambodia’s provinces in order to reduce the Kingdom’s high maternal mortality rate, Health Minister Mam Bun Heng announced at a seminar at the National Assembly. Read: Phnom Penh Post
IPS reported 18 December that, as the United Nations commemorated its sixth annual U.N. Day for South-South Cooperation, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon singled out the growing new ties among developing countries that go far beyond trade and investments: education, science, agriculture, medicine, health services and information technologies. A report jointly authored by UNDP and UNFPA says that UNDP country offices have reported an increase in South-South cooperation in all practice areas. In 2008, UNFPA alone supported some 189 South-South initiatives, including partnerships in the following areas: fistula repair; census management; population surveys; delivery of reproductive health services; HIV infection among women; gender-based violence; the use of database software; training, raising awareness of population and development issues; and gender mainstreaming. Read: IPS
The Television of Cambodia (TVK) reported 17 December that UNFPA supported the National Assembly organizing a workshop for parliamentarians to debate on maternal and child health issues given the high mortality rate of maternal death. While MPs recognized the efforts made by the government in promoting maternal and child health, they highlighted the challenge issues and appealed for more investment, especially on maternal health.
ARMENIA: ACNIS Holds Roundtable Discussion on Gender Equality and the State of Women’s Rights in ArmeniaARMENIA: ACNIS Holds Roundtable Discussion on Gender Equality and the State of Women’s Rights in Armenia
Armenia Now reported 17 December and Public Radio of Armenia reported 16 December that The Armenian Centre for National and International Studies (ACNIS) convened a roundtable discussion today examining gender equality and the state of women’s rights in Armenia. The first speaker was Jina Sargizova, the Project Coordinator for the UNFPA Programme on Gender-Based Violence, who provided a detailed presentation of UN activities in this sphere. Read: Armenia Now and Public Radio of Armenia
Congo-site reported 16 December on UNFPA’s involvement with other partners in strengthening support to the national response against HIV/AIDS. Read: Congo-site
The Daily News reported 16 December that Kagisano Society Women Shelter Project has launched a Drop-In Centre in Molepolole as an effort to extend its services. Speaking during the launch, UNFPA Assistant Country Representative Sarah Masale said the community should ensure that the programme would thrive and achieve its objective. Read: Daily News
MOZAMBIQUE: Daily Noticias reported 16 December that family planning and medical assistance during pregnancy could reduce child mortality by 50 per cent and maternal mortality by 70 per cent, according a report produced by the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA . Quoting the report, the paper said that 500,000 mothers and 3.5 million new born babies die every year in developing countries. According to experts, it adds, those deaths could be easily prevented. In order to avoid the scenario, the report suggests that the current investment should be doubled. UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid is cited in the story as saying that the amount of money invested in family planning result in the increase of condom usage and prevents the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
CONTINUING COVERAGE ON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM
BURKINA FASO: Sidwaya reported 16 December on a ceremony commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The commemoration took place under the chairmanship of Chantal Compaoré, First Lady of Burkina, and in the presence of Céline Yoda, from the Ministry for the Promotion of the Woman and André Mayouya, Representative of UNFPA/Burkina.
GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported 16-21 December on the conclusion of the 16 Days of Activism to fight gender-based violence. The official closing ceremony of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence & an exhibition on gender discrimination was held at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia (Gudiashvili # 7) hosted by UNFPA. GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported 16-21 December on the conclusion of the 16 Days of Activism to fight gender-based violence. The official closing ceremony of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence & an exhibition on gender discrimination was held at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia (Gudiashvili # 7) hosted by UNFPA/Georgia. Read: IPN, The Messenger, Georgia Today, GINSC and in Georgian: IPN (16 December), IPN (15 December), Express News, MediaNews
GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported 16-21 December on the conclusion of the 16 Days of Activism to fight gender-based violence. The official closing ceremony of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence & an exhibition on gender discrimination was held at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia (Gudiashvili # 7) hosted by UNFPA. Read: IPN, The Messenger, Georgia Today, GINSC and in Georgian: IPN (16 December), IPN (15 December), Express News, MediaNews
ZIMBABWE: The Sunday Mail reported 20 December that every year, women and men throughout the world take to the streets to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Zimbabweans were not left out as they joined the rest of the world in commemorating the 16 Days. The article noted that, according to UNFPA, violence against women takes many forms, including sexual assault, child marriage, incest, wife beating, prostitution, female genital mutilation, dowry-related violence, trafficking, sexual violence during wars, sexual harassment, “honour” killings, forced sterilisation, date rape, pornography and bride kidnapping. Read: The Sunday Mail
The Daily Observer reported 15 December that the Central River Region (CRR) Population task force members held their meeting in Janjangbureh. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues on population activities and UNFPA-funded projects in the region. Read: The Daily Observer
Gabonews reported 15 December on the annual review of the programme of cooperation Gabon-UNFPA that also took stock of the extensive programme mid-term review, to strengthen its strategy for results in 2010. Read in French: Gabonews
Gaboneco reported 15 December on UNFPA’s support for the government's effort to eradicate fistula from Gabon. Read in French: Gaboneco
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 15 December on the annual review of UNFPA-Congo’s programme of cooperation (2009-2013). Read: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
Gaboneco, Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Sous le Manguier.com reported 14-15 December on UNFPA’s response to the humanitarian emergency and assistance to pregnant women, women victims of violence, and women with newborns from DRC seeking refuge in the Northern part of Congo-Brazzaville. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville, Gaboneco and Sous le Manguier
The Daily Newspaper reported 14 December that 11 ministries and 9 UN organizations have agreed to work together for the next three years to formulate a legal framework and policies for preventing violence against women, changing the social attitude and behaviour and enhancing the capacity of the authorities concerned for supporting and caring for vulnerable women and girls.The government and the UN agencies signed an agreement to implement an $8 million (nearly Tk 560 million) project titled ‘Joint Programme to Address Violence against Women in Bangladesh’.The secretary to the Economic Relations Division, Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, signed the agreement on behalf of the government while the UNFPA’s representative, Arthur Erken, signed for the UN agencies.
BANGLADESH: The Daily Newspaper reported 14 December on a seminar marking World AIDS Day under the joint auspices of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and UNFPA. UNFPA representative Arthur Erken said that though Bangladesh is still a low HIV epidemic country, its prevalence among injecting drug users has been much higher and in some parts of the Dhaka city it is even close to 10 per cent of the risk population.
CONTINUING COVERAGE ON THE LAUNCH OF The 2009 STATE OF WORLD POPULATION REPORT (SWOP) ON POPULATION AND CLIMATE, AND THE COPENHAGEN COP15 GLOBAL CLIMATE CONFERENCE
JAPAN: The Japan Times published an editorial 20 December arguing that The U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen has failed to reach a deal on the reduction targets of industrialized and emerging nations for greenhouse-gas emissions, although it set a goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius over the coming years and developed nations made a financial commitment to help poor nations cope with the effect of climate change. The Times added that last month, UNFPA published "State of World Population 2009 — Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate," which focuses on other aspects of the climate change issue, such as how climate change affects people and what kinds of policies, apart from energy efficiency and industry-related policies, should be pursued to mitigate the effects of global warming. In sum, the report says that climate change's influence on people is "complex — spurring migration, destroying livelihoods, disrupting economies, undermining development and exacerbating inequalities between the sexes." Read: The Japan Times
PAKISTAN: Dawn reported 15 December that, from sea level rise to the melting of glaciers, from water scarcity to changes in the monsoon, Pakistan will be badly hit as temperatures rise further. Women and children will be the most affected. Dr Nizamuddin, from the University of Gujrat, launched a ‘Climate Change and Gender Report’ focussing on Pakistan, which was recently completed by his research team, with funding from UNFPA. Read: Dawn
UNITED STATES: Minnesota Public Radio reported 18 December on links between climate and population issues, arguing that UNFPA has thoroughly documented how poor women worldwide bear the brunt of these changes. They are less able to relocate, more tied to agricultural work, get less pay and have fewer educational opportunities. They also shoulder the greatest burdens in bearing and raising children. Read: Minnesota Public Radio
UNITED STATES: RHRealityCheck.org published a blog 17 December by Kacey Rae Jacobs on the “Climate and Demography” breakfast roundtable organized by the UN Foundation on behalf of the Centre for Environment and Population. The goal of the invite-only roundtable was to release a new SWOP by UNFPA. The event’s keynote speaker was SWOP author Robert Engelman, of Worldwatch Institute. Read: RHRealityCheck.org
UZBEKISTAN: UzReport reported 14 December UNFPA in Uzbekistan presented the SWOP on 14 December. Published annually since 1978, this year’s report is entitled "Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate" and calls attention to women and vulnerable populations in the response to climate change.
La Jornada reported 13 December that Jose Antonio Izazola, Director of the National Centre of HIV/AIDS prevention (CENSIDA) mentioned that an agreement signed with UNFPA aimed at increasing condom supplies, instituted a 50 percent reduction in the price of each male condoms and 70 percent in female ones. Read in Spanish: Jornada
Multiple media outlets reported 13 December that the National Population Council and UNFPA organized the winner ceremony of the XVI Poster Contest with the theme for this year “Migrate to . . . Work.” This year participated children and young people from 6 to 24 years old. The participants can express their ideas, beliefs and thoughts through the art. Diego Palacios, UNFPA Mexico Representative and Director for Cuba and Dominican Republic mentioned that migration phenomenon demonstrate two faces: marginalization, neglect and risk on one side, and prosperity on the other. Read in Spanish: Contraparte Informativa, Jornada, Hoy Tamulipas
El Día reported 13 December that 75 elderly people from across the country took part in a programme to exhibit and sell handmade crafts, showing off the productive potential of elderly people. The exhibition is sponsored by the National Council on Aging Persons (CONAPE) and UNFPA at the IV Elderly Fair. Read in Spanish: El Día
Perfil reported 13 December that sexual initiation of young people is ever earlier, and earlier for women than men. In general, the average age is 15 years. Experts warn that sex education is not enough, and that most current education programmes ignore basic issues, not only about pregnancy, but also diseases such as AIDS. The increase in teenage pregnancy is not an isolated case of Argentina. Latin America, has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy in the world, second only to the rate of sub-Saharan Africa. This was confirmed by experts from the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: Perfil
Saba reported 13 December that a special workshop to discuss results of analysis of the demographic situation in Yemen organized by the National Population Council in cooperation with UNFPA. The two-day workshop involved 35 stakeholders in population work, donor organizations, and coordinators of several governorates’ committees for population activities. Read in Arabic: Saba
ABC reported 13 December that, UNFPA supported a seminar held by the Ministry of Women to discuss planning and instituting a law to support gender equity. Read in Spanish: ABC
Milenio reported 1-12 December that Diego Palacios, UNFPA Mexico Representative and Director for Cuba and Dominican Republic proposed to Hidalgo’s Government to create a development plan in order to eradicate discrimination, marginalization and the lack of sexual and reproductive health services oriented to indigenous women from the State. Read in Spanish: Milenio (12 December) and Milenio (11 December)
Diario Libre reported 12 December that ONE director, Paul Tactuk, said financial support for the 2010 national census had been procured from UNFPA, the European Union, UNDP and other International Organisms in an amount that exceeded the $6 million. Read in Spanish: Diario Libre
The New Age reported 12 December and United News of Bangladesh reported 10 December that 11 ministries and 9 UN organizations have agreed to work together for the next three years to formulate a legal framework and policies for preventing violence against women, changing the social attitude and behaviour and enhancing the capacity of the authorities concerned for supporting and caring for vulnerable women and girls. UNFPA’s representative Arthur Erken said it was a rare opportunity for the government and UN agencies to work together in a multi-pronged approach to tackle the violation of women’s fundamental rights.
Right Vision News reported 12 December that interventions to reproductive health, including family planning, are facing poor funding in developing countries due to global economic recession and policies to check abortion, the health minister, AFM Ruhal Haque, said recently. “Developing countries now need to pool their funds together, extend cooperation to each other and apply their full strength to find a long-term solution to check mushrooming growth of population,” he said while addressing a function also attended by Health secretary Shaikh Altaf Ali, executive director of PPD Harry S Jooseery and country director of UNFPA Arthur Erken.
Right Vision (Pakistan) reported 12 December that, despite having by far the second largest number of Nato troops in Afghanistan, Britain's area of responsibility in Helmand province is equivalent to less than three per cent of the country's estimated 28.5 million population.In a written parliamentary reply published Thursday, Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis revealed that the overwhelming bulk of Britain's deployment of more than 9,000 troops covered just over half of Helmand's population."We estimate the population of Britain's area of responsibility in Helmand province to be 750,000 to 800,000," Lewis said without specifying the districts.According to 2003 Central Statistical Office/UNFPA Socio-Economic and Demographic Profile
CONTINUING COVERAGE OF LAUNCH OF 2009 STATE OF THE WORLD POPULATION REPORT (SWOP); POPULATION AND CLIMATE; GLOBAL CLIMATE SUMMIT
AFP reported 12 December that a planetary chain of protests headed by a mass rally in Copenhagen cranked up the heat on problem-plagued talks to build a pact to roll back climate change. “Poor women in poor countries are among the hardest hit by climate change, even though they contributed the least to it,” says UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. The poor are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the majority of the 1.5 billion people living on $1 a day or less are women. The State of World Population 2009 argues that the international community’s fight against climate change is more likely to be successful if policies, programmes and treaties take into account the needs, rights and potential of women. Read: AFP
IPS reported 8 December that Marta Lago and Norma Maldonado from Guatemala, who belong to the International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), criticised the free trade treaties signed by Latin American countries with the United States and the European Union in a panel at the international climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Women bear the brunt of climate change effects, Ms. Lago and Ms. Maldonado said, as UNFPA stated in its latest report. Read: IPS and in Spanish: IPS
REPUBLIC OF CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Pari Africain, on 8 December, reported on the launch of the 2009 SWOP in Congo.
COSTA RICA: La Nacion published, on 7 December, a Spanish version of a previously published Nature noting that Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director, believes that countries are probably hesitant to speak about contraceptive methods help in fight against climate change, fearing that the speech will become population control. "We understand these fears," says Obaid, "but if all stakeholders would have access to contraception and family planning it would reduce population growth and would have an enormous impact on climate change.” Read in Spanish: La Nacion
ECUADOR: Hoy reported 12 December that in just five years, the Ecuadorian Coast will have disappeared from the earth's surface as a result of global warming, with catastrophic effects for Ecuadorians. Read in Spanish: Hoy
INDIA/UNITED STATES: IndiaWest (United States) reported 8 December on efforts to combat climate change, noting the SWOP report’s findings. "Helping women to make their own decisions about family size would protect their health, make their lives easier, help put their countries on a sustainable path towards development, and ensure lower greenhouse-gas emissions in the long run," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the UNFPA, as the report was released. Read: IndiaWest
NAMIBIA: Starbroek News reported 13 December that a binding international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is what is expected from the climate talks in Copenhagen, but just last month the State of the World Population report called on leaders to factor in the human and gender dimensions of every aspect of the problem. The 2009 report, ‘Facing a changing world: women, population and climate’, concluded that climate change agreements and national policies are more likely to succeed in the long run if they take into account population dynamics, the relations between the sexes, and women’s well-being and access to services and opportunities. It said that slower population growth, for example, would help build social resilience to climate change’s impacts and would contribute to a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in the future. Read: Starbroek News
ROMANIA: Multiple media outlets reported 9-10 December on the 9 December launch of the SWOP report in Romania. “Climate change leads the humanity in difficult situations. The rich are equipped to face the change and they can adapt easily. Those who consume less, who influence the climate less, they are also less prepared to face the problems brought by the change” declared Francois Farah, UNFPA representative in Romania. He also mentioned that “climate change represent an additional risk which only amplifies the vulnerability of the poor population that is not prepared to adapt.” Read in Romanian: Euractiv, MediaFax, NewsIn, Amos News, 9 AM (a), 9 AM (b), Wall Street, Romania Libera, Cotidianul, Feminis, EVA Club, Sanatatea, Profit Romania, Observatur de Constanta, Ziarul de Lasi, Gardianul,
UGANDA: The New Vision reported 8 December that reports on the state of the world and Uganda's population for 2009 published by UNFPA and the Population Secretariat paint a grim picture. Currently, Uganda's infant mortality rate stands at 76 deaths per 1,000 live births. Having many children still remains a status symbol, especially among the rural poor. But the more the children, the more the suffering due to the deprivation of human basic needs. Read: The New Vision
UNITED STATES: The Boston Globe published a column by Ellen Goodman 10 December on the global summit on climate change in Copenhagen as well as recent reports and initiatives on the links between population and climate change and related controversy. Ms. Goodman wrote,“One piece of the controversy is, of course, amply illustrated by the implication that some countries can maintain their high carbon diets by reducing births in other countries. As Robert Engelman, co-author of a recent UNFPA report, says, ‘There's a perception that wealthy countries with lower fertility rates are casting aspersions on poor countries with high fertility rates, blaming them for having too many children.’” Read: Boston Globe
VIET NAM: Viet Nam Television (VTV 1) broadcast, on 9 December, an interview with UNFPA Representative Bruce Campbell, in which he stated that the poor, especially poor women are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. “The Government of Viet Nam is doing a number of very positive things at national, provincial district and commune level. Generally speaking, if we compare Viet Nam with other surrounding countries, we can see that this country has a very strong response to disasters when they happen,” Mr. Campbell explained. In order for women to be better prepared to deal with natural disasters and climate change, he said that the Government must continue to invest in women’s education, health services, economic opportunities, access to land rights and tenure and other areas associated with women’s empowerment, as gender equality is key to reduce women’s vulnerability to climate change.
ZIMBABWE: The Financial Gazette reported 11 December on the global conference on climate change, noting that, although the issue of climate change is shrouded in controversy as scientists argue over facts and nations trade accusations and counter accusations, the fact still remains: “Global temperatures are already climbing, so we have no choice but to adapt to changes we face now and to anticipate those we expect in the future,” said UNFPA in its latest State of the World Population 2009 report. “Climate change threatens to worsen poverty and burden the marginalised and vulnerable groups with additional hardships,” further warns the UNFPA report titled “Facing A Changing World: Women, Population And Climate.” Read: The Financial Gazette
CNN reported 12 December that the Ugandan parliament unanimously passed a bill banning female genital mutilation, a traditional rite that has sparked an international outcry and is practiced in some African and Asian communities. Human rights activists have decried the practice, which they say poses major health risks for girls and may lead to death. It also causes complications during sex and child birth, activists say."The experience has also been related to a range of psychological and psychosomatic disorders," UNFPA says.