The Lancet published an article on 20 February by Carla AbouZahr, Laragh Gollogly and Gretchen Stevens, that noted the lack of full coverage means that population projections and estimates of disease burden and longevity depend on extrapolations from small expensive household surveys. In individual terms, those who live beyond the reach of civil-registration systems cannot reliably own or inherit property, be educated, vote, or legally cross borders. They noted UNFPA and its role in civil registration. Read: The Lancet
The News International reported on 19 February that Federal Minister for Population Welfare Firdaus Ashiq Awan has stressed the need for coordinated efforts on the part of provincial and the federal governments to implement programmes. She was speaking at a seminar on Family Planning organised by the Mir Khalilur Rehman Memorial Society in collaboration with UNFPA and the Ministry of Population Welfare. Read: The News International
IPS reported 19 February that the statistics on economic and social difficulties faced by women are staggering, according to the United Nations. More than 8,000 women were raped by members of armed groups in DRC in 2009 and over 3 million adolescents could suffer female genital mutilation in the world, according to UNFPA. Read in Spanish: IPS
Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-site reported on 19 February that the first-ever UN joint programme on HIV/AIDS was signed by Health Minister George Moyen and UNFPA Representative David Lawson, Chair of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS. Mr. Lawson credited strong leadership and partnership for the country’s decrease in AIDS prevalence from 4.2 to 3.1 percent in 2009. He indicated the joint programme would strengthen UN coordination and support to government AIDS programmes, and drew his priorities for action in 2010, including the establishment of an AIDS Partnership Forum. Read in French: Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-site
El Dia (Mexico), El Nuevo Diario (Dominican Republic) and Impulsobaires (Argentina) reported 17- 19 February that the Regional Coordinating Mechanism for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations met in Mexico City to discuss the MDGs, climate change, the political situation in the region and the UN's contribution to regional cooperation. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Asha-Rose Migiro, and Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Barcena. It was attended also by representatives of OIT, PAHO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNIFEM, UNHCR and others. Read in Spanish: El Día, El Nuevo Diario and Impulsobaires
The Dili Weekly reported on 18 February that Domingas Bernardo, UNFPA reproductive health officer, said UNFPA is supporting the Ministry of Health to disseminate information and enhance their knowledge about the different types of family planning. “Family planning helps families to plan the number of children they will have, protecting the health of mother and child, as spacing children at least three years reduces the rate of maternal mortality,” said Mr. Bernardo.
New Vision reported on 18 February that UNFPA has donated equipment worth sh800m to Moroto Hospital. The items included an anaesthetic machine, caesarean section sets, intra-uterine devices, delivery sets and beds for expectant mothers. Other institutions that benefited included Matany Hospital, Iriiri, Lokopo, Lopeei, Kangole, Lotome, Tapac, and Kakingol health centres. The UNFPA head, Janet Jackson, urged the beneficiaries to use the machines well, saying despite contributions from development partners, maternal health in Karamoja was still poor. Read: New Vision
Daily News reported on 18 February that the government and the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) signed an agreement to establish a 190-bed hospital in Dar es Salaam, noting that UNFPA has awarded a grant to assist CCBRT to assist in its work on obstetric fistula.
REPUBLIC OF CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): UNFPA to Support Population and Development Masters Degree and Research Institute
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 18 February on the public announcement by UNFPA Representative David Lawson on the establishment of a Masters degree, as well as of a Research Institute on Population and Development, at the Congo University Marien Ngouabi, in partnership with Paris 5 Rene Descartes University. The programme, which will begin in academic year 2010-2011, is a result of strengthened cooperation between UNFPA and the academic world. Mr. Lawson announced that this initiative would have a sub-regional outreach and that a similar partnership was discussed with Libreville Omar Bongo University in Gabon. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
Congo-site reported on 18 February that, in his keynote address, "Society Mutations, Development and Population Issues" to the International Colloquim on "Mutations of Contemporary Societies," held from 16-18 February, UNFPA Representative David Lawson called for the creation, by the University Marien Ngouabi, of think tanks dedicated to social development. Mr. Lawson stressed the key role of universities and research institutes not only to accompany but also stimulate ideas, innovation, society transformation to inform sustainable development policy and programmes. Read in French: Congo-Site
Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-Site reported on 18 February on a donation of socio-economic integration kits by Director-General of Social Affairs, Clotaire Tomby, to pregnant women with obstetric fistula. The donation was part of the UNFPA-supported programme against fistula led by the Ministry of Humanitarian and Social Affairs and the Brazzaville Hospital. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-Site
Africa Renewal reported on 18 February that concerns about the MDGs were expressed at a high-level meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia held last fall. It was convened by UNFPA and the government of the Netherlands to discuss maternal health, one of the MDGs with the least progress made. "We know what it would cost to meet our goals," stated UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid, "and, sadly, we know the cost of too little action." Read: Africa Renewal
Manila Bulletin reported on 17 February that the new administration of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is pushing for the empowerment of the youth sector in the region through employment or migration schemes it crafted in a two-day workshop.The MDG-YEM is a project funded by foreign donors IOM, ILO, UNFPA, and UNICEF, through the initiative of DoLE-ARMM. Read: Manila Bulletin
PPN reported on 17 February that, as part of the decentralization of employment brokerage services, the Spanish Cooperation in Paraguay provides financial and technical support to the Project "Strengthening of Public Policy Employment," implemented by the Ministry of Justice and Labor (MJT). The Spanish Cooperation also supports the area of employment through other instruments such as the Joint Programme "Opportunities: Capabilities and Economic Opportunities for Social Inclusion," implemented by ILO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNIFEM. Read in Spanish: PPN
This Day reported on 17 February on the African Youth Charter, a policy framework developed by the African Union (AU) Commission. In a pledge to the development of African youth, Nigeria has domesticated the Protocol. The establishment of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development in February 2007, with a mandate to advance the development of the country’s youth population, set the tone for an integrated planning, formulation and implementation of policies and programmes for youth. The ministry has received support in the implementation of the youth policy with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNFPA and the UN Drug Control Office.
Multiple media outlets reported on 15 - 17 February on the launch of the preliminary report of the Survey on Young People in Egypt 2009. UNFPA has been the leading UN Agency for developing this report, the first one since 1997, and Dr Ziad Rifai, Egypt Representative was a panelist at the report launch.
Jakarta Globe reported on 16 February that at the launch of UNFPA report on climate change in Cairo, UNFPA officials pointed out that 15 percent of people in the Arab world already have limited or no access to potable water and that water scarcity induced by climate change was expected to cut food production in the region by half. They called for more cooperation among the Arab League, UNFPA and Arab nongovernmental organizations to help governments draw up appropriate policies. Read: Jakarta Globe
VOA reported on 16 February that the fertility rate in East Timor is one of the highest in the world. The government and the United Nations want to rein in population growth in one of Asia's poorest nations, but spreading the word about contraception can be tricky in a country where most people are Roman Catholic. UNFPA, says East Timorese women give birth to an average of 6.38 children during their lives. That fertility rate is second only to Afghanistan. Read: VOA
DAP News reported on 16 February that the Cambodian population will reach 18.7 million in the next decade with the current growth rate at 1.54 percent per annum, accoridng to new data from UNFPA. It did not predict Cambodian economic growth, but there has been number of publication that the country’s economic growth was an estimated contracted 2.2 percent 2009 and is projected to increase 4.2 percent for 2010. Read: DAP News
SPAIN: El Mercurio Digital (Spain) reported on 16 February that the WHO announced that it was leading a new emergency programme in Haiti to strengthen the nutrition of children under five years old, pregnant women and mothers who breastfeed their babies. The WHO is joined by the World Food Programme, UNFPA and UNICEF in coordinating the initiative. Read in Spanish: El Mercurio Digital
Agencia de Noticias Orbita reported on 15 February on the annual public forum, held under the Campaign "100 Roses For 100 Hearts," organized by INPPARES, focused on adolescent maternal health and progress toward MDG 5, and that participants urged the government to adopt a new law on sexual and reproductive health. Vereau Dorina Rodriguez, specialist in sex education for UNFPA was among the forum’s exhibitors. Read in Spanish: Agencia de Noticias Orbita
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 15 February on UNFPA’s annual retreat held from 3-5 February in Pointe-Noire. UNFPA will continue to focus on maternal health, obstetric fistula, gender, HIV prevention, operationalize decentralized cooperation, and support Government efforts to assist the 110,000 refugees from DRC. UNFPA representative David Lawson said, "I can count on the commitment and willingness of national authorities and civil society forces in Pointe Noire, and this city can be a development model for the country in maternal health, HIV prevention and promotion of women.” Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
REPUBLIC OF CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Youth Minister and UNFPA Representative Discuss African Youth Charter
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 15 February on a meeting between the Youth Minister, Zacharie Zimpouni and UNFPA Representative David Lawson on the African Youth Charter ratification and cooperation in 2010. UNFPA will support the National Youth Conference and establishment of a Youth National Council, as well as youth moral and civic curriculum. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
Le Renouveau du Burundi reported on 15 February that the Government of Burundi and UN System Representatives signed agreements for five new programmes. This action is an important sign of the support of the UN to the transition process between peace consolidation and sustainable development. The country programme 2010-2014 of UNFPA has a budget estimated at $16.5 million. It has been signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Augustin Nsanze and UNFPA Representative Sergio Soro.
AFRICA: Afrique en Ligne reported on 8 February that UNFPA says 3 million girls are still at the risk of genital mutilation each year. In a message to mark International Day against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), UNFPA called for a change of perception on the practice. The agency noted that decline in FGM had been recorded in some communities, which have chosen to make public declarations against the practice. It cited Senegal, where genital mutilation had declined by up to 65 percent. “Success in reducing the incidence in several countries where it was once highly prevalent has occurred as a result of culturally sensitive engagement with local communities and encouraging change from within,” UNFPA said. Read: Afrique en Ligne
BANGLADESH: Right Vision News reported on 13 February that UNFPA said over 130 million girls and women have undergone some form of genital cutting.
GAMBIA: Today reported on 8 February on the UNFPA statement on the International Day on Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Bintou Susso, UNFPA programme officer in Gambia said that the inclusion of men and boys in bringing about change in all aspects of promoting gender equality as well as accelerating the abandonment of FGM/C is necessary. This year's theme for the International Day on Zero Tolerance to FGM is "The Role of Men and Boys in the Eradication of FGM/C." Read: Today
YEMEN: IRIN reported on 10 February that, nearly a decade after a ban on health workers performing female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Yemen, the harmful practice continues unabated, with the government saying more research is needed before an outright ban can be imposed. UNFPA and UNICEF recently estimated that worldwide 120-140 million women have been subjected to the practice and 3 million girls continue to be at risk each year. “The practice persists because it is sustained by social perceptions, including that girls and their families will face shame, social exclusion and diminished marriage prospects if they forego cutting. These perceptions can, and must, change,” said a joint UNFPA, UNICEF statement on 6 February, the international day against FGM. Read: IRIN
Yemen Observer reported on 9 February that on the occasion of the International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, observed on 6 February, the UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman issued statement in which they stated that progress has been made in recent years in reducing the incidence of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), largely because communities and families are taking action and calling for change. Read: Yemen Observer
The Jerusalem Post (Israel) published an op-ed by Saudi journalist Maha Akeel on 14 February that said, "despite the images perpetrated by Western media, Saudi women have come a long way and are increasingly recognized for our achievements despite the obstacles we face. We are managers of multi-billion dollar companies, world-renowned scientists, university deans and bank CEOs, as well as a director of the UNFPA." Read: The Jerusalem Post
Times of Malta reported on 14 February that the UN's International Institute on Ageing in Malta (INIA), in collaboration with UNFPA, is organising an international training programme on social gerontology in Sliema. Read: Times of Malta
Saba, Alsahwa, and Newsyemen reported on February 14 that Charitable Social Society Welfare (CSSW), in cooperation with UNFPA, launched the second phase of the Psychosocial Support Project for women and girls affected by the Sadaa war with participation of 20 women from Amran, Al-Jawf, and Sadaa governorates in coordination with ADRA. UNFPA Representative Zeljka Mudrovcic emphasized the need for upgrading workers’ performance in the field of protection and providing assistance to those affected by the Sadaa war, especially women and girls. Ms. Mudrovcic noted that UNFPA will continue supporting out-reach community level programmes that aim to provide services to poor and needy people, especially women and girls. Read in Arabic: Saba, Alsahwa, and Newsyemen
Trend News reported on 13 February that the government of Uzbekistan and UNFPA signed the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) for the period of 2010-2015. The UNFPA country programme action plan for Uzbekistan is built around three major components: reproductive health and rights, population and development, and ensuring full implementation of women and men's rights, opportunities and responsibilities. Read: Trend News
The Malaysia Star reported on 13 February that to educate secondary school students on reproductive health, Chevron Malaysia Limited (Chevron) recently launched the Caltex Body Works programme as part of its Energy for Learning global initiative. The community engagement programme aims to empower students aged 15 to 18 years old with reproductive health information and knowledge via workshops that will be conducted by the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations Malaysia (FRHAM). The workshop module was developed by FRHAM with funding from UNFPA. Read: The Malaysia Star