UNFPA in the News
The excerpts below are from media reports. UNFPA cannot vouch for the accuracy of independent media reports displayed for reference purposes only. The inclusion of any story does not imply endorsement by UNFPA.

TANZANIA: Congo Refugees Speak Out On Sexual Harassment

The Daily News reported on 30 September that refugees at Nyarugusu Camp in Kasulu District held an imitation of a youth parliament which discussed sexual harassment against young girls and the lack of basic needs. Recognizing the challenges that youths face in refugee camps, UNFPA and UNHCR jointly assisted young refugees set up a youth parliament and prepare a brief radio programme and video film. The parliament serves as a forum for young people to discuss their challenges, put forward their needs and propose solutions to the relevant authorities. This event has been held at the same time as preparations for the launch of UNFPA’s State of World Population 2010 report. The theme for this year’s report is “Women, Conflict and Renewal. From Conflict to Recovery: Generations of Change.” Read: The Daily News

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GHANA: Curious Minds Holds Colloquium On HIV/AIDS

GNA reported on 30 September that Curious Minds, a local youth development organization, has held its Quarterly Youth Colloquium, focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention in aid of the country's pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UNFPA, which was also represented at the colloquium, called on young people to be sensible and desist from acts that could make them contract the disease. Read: GNA

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THE GAMBIA: Vice President Calls for Support for Women’s Empowerment Measures

The Daily Observer reported on 30 September that Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, has called for more support in the implementation of the Women's Act 2010 and the Gender and Women's Empowerment Policy 2010-2020, for the attainment of the MDG3 on economic empowerment of women and Vision 2020 national development agenda. She then thanked development partners, in particular the UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and the Commonwealth Secretariat, for the technical and financial support accorded to The Gambia. She also acknowledged that the Women's Act 2010 and the Gender and Women Empowerment Policy 2010-2020 are formulated with the aim of enhancing existing laws as well as harmonising into our laws, signed and ratified international commitments, such as CEDAW, the AU Protocol on Women and the AU Solemn Declaration on Women, with the ultimate objective of promoting and protecting women and girl's rights. Read: The Daily Observer

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GABON: Communication Minister Meets UNFPA Country Director

Gabon-Matin reported on 30 September on a recent meeting between Communication Minister Laure Gondjout and UNFPA Country Director David Lawson. They discussed strengthening the capacity of Gabonese journalists in population and development. A new headquarters for the Gabonese Network of Journalists in Population and Development, launched by the Minister and UN diplomat in 2009, will be equipped by UNFPA and inaugurated during the visit to Gabon by Africa Regional Director Bunmi Makinwa from 25-27 October. A journalist training on population and development as well as the Minister's support to the UNFPA Media Award were also discussed during the meeting.

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CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Workshop Held on Integration of Socio-Demographic Databases

Congo-site reported on 30 September on a workshop jointly organized by the National Statistics Centre and UNFPA towards the consolidation of the socio-demographic databases available in the country. This initiative is aimed at strengthening data collection processes and analysis in order to develop solid indicators to monitor progress towards the MDGs. Director-General for Statistics Samuel Ambapour noted that with UNFPA support, the data collection and analysis processes in Congo had improved significantly, leading to some of the major socio-demographic surveys in the country. Speaking on behalf of UNFPA Representative David Lawson, Assistant Representative Benoit Libali said, "Data is essential to inform policy decision-making and should therefore be collected, processed and analyzed systematically in such a manner that they become legible and useful for policy makers." Read in French: Congo-site


CAMBODIA: Regional Workshop on Maternal Health Held

National TV, Bayon, TVK, CTN, Apsara and SEATV reported on 30 September on a regional workshop on maternal health, which was held to look at progress and challenges associated with MDG5. UNFPA Representative Sarah Knibbs discussed the need for better services addressing the high maternal mortality rate in Cambodia, particularly emergency obstetric care, which, she said, should be available and reachable and service providers should receive more quality training.


BELARUS: UNFPA Organizes Round Table to Mark International Day of Older Persons

Multiple media outlets reported on 30 September  and 1 October that experts from various areas gathered at a round table organized by UNFPA to discuss aspects of the transition into pension. Retirement drastically changes the life of a person. Some people are not ready for these changes: on one hand, Belarusian pensioners are often isolated and deprived of being active in society and communicating with people and, on the other hand have a very low pension. In Belarus, where pensioners constitute a large share of the population, it is important to ensure their well-being and that they receive the necessary care. Several experts advocate establishing preparatory courses for people as they reach the age where they become eligible for pensions. “Retirement for a person, who want and is able to work, is often stressful,” said Tatyana Haplichnik. Read in Russian: Naviny.By, UN Radio and Tut.by


BANGLADESH: Call to Turn Youth Force into Skilled Manpower

The New Nation reported on 30 September that speakers at a policy dialogue in the city called for coordination among different ministries and public and private organizations to develop the country’s youth force as skilled and trained manpower. They suggested setting up a counseling centre for youth and the formulation of a youth policy. Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad Secretariat organized the discussion meeting titled “Youth Force and Development” at the JS Bhaban with the cooperation of UNFPA. State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar and some 21 lawmakers took part in the meeting, said a press release. UNFPA Assistant Representative Noor Mohammad presented a keynote paper. Members of civil society and local and international NGO representatives took part in the panel discussion. Read: The New Nation


BELARUS: Belarusians Feel Younger Even as They Age

Zautra reported on 30 September that a sociological survey, taken in 12 countries, found that, without regard to cultural and geographical specifics, people over 65 feel young, live the same way as young ones live, and consider old age to be when they are 80. Tatyana Haplichnik, UNFPA Programme Analyst, said that modern Belarusians feel younger at a certain age, than their older counterparts. It wasn’t hard to find heroes for last year's photo-exhibition “Anti-stereotypes about old age.” In the exhibition, UNFPA showed people who enjoy their life regardless of their old age. Read in Russian: Zautra


THE PHILIPPINES: Opposition to Reproductive Health Bill

The Philippine Star and GMA reported on 29 September that after President Benigno Aquino III made known his support for moves promoting artificial contraception, pro-life groups scheduled a meeting to discuss new tactics against the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill. “Studies by the WHO, UNDP and UNFPA confirm that correct and consistent use of contraceptives will prevent one-third of all maternal deaths,” said bill sponsor, Representative Edcel Lagman. He also stressed that virtually all or 98 per cent  of maternal deaths happen in developing countries like the Philippines. Read: GMA and The Philippine Star


NEPAL: Flood-Hit Districts Get $2 Million from UN

The Himalayan Times reported on 29 September that United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos today allocated $2 million to United Nations agencies in Nepal. The funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will be used for seven life-saving humanitarian projects in the country. “Three-quarters of the way through this year, humanitarian funding for Nepal is just not adequate,” said Robert Piper, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal. “While the UN and its partners have been able to help hundreds of thousands of Nepalis in need of humanitarian aid, we have not been able to do enough because less than 50 per cent of the Nepal Appeal has been funded,” Piper added. UNFPA will use $235,871 in CERF grants to provide life saving reproductive health services through mobile outreach camps in four of the most remote districts of Nepal. Read: The Himalayan Times


JORDAN: UNFPA Works to Strengthen Community Organizations to Enhance ICPD Agenda at Local Level

Al Rai reported on 29 September that UNFPA, in collaboration with the Queen Zein Al-Sharaf Institute for Development, is working on building the capacity of community based organizations to carry on the ICPD agenda through building their capacities in community empowerment and raising awareness and demand on RH issues and services. Interactive awareness sessions are being held in the five communities for men, women and young people on reproductive health services and rights, puberty and family planning.


GHANA: Forum Held on Women and Parliamentary Representation

GNA reported on 29 September that Cate A. Bob-Milliar, Upper West Regional Director of Department of Women, has suggested a constitutional amendment to make it mandatory for women who died while in office as members of Parliament, or Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief executives to be replaced by women. She said the review should also consider a woman representative from each of the regions as an automatic member of parliament so that 10 seats could be secured for women as late President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did for women. The International Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and UNFPA sponsored the forum. Read: GNA

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BURKINA FASO: International Midwifery Meeting Opens

Sidwaya reported on 29 September on the opening ceremony of an International Meeting of Midwives. This ceremony proceeded in the presence of the General Secretary of the Ministry for Health, UNFPA Senior Maternal Technical Advisor Vincent Fauveau and Mamadou Kanté, Representative of UNFPA in Burkina Faso. The meeting was organized jointly by the UNFPA and the International Confederation of Midwives. In his speech, Dr. Kanté, stressed that “More half of the women Burkinabe and particularly in rural area continue to be confined in residence.” Read in French: Sidwaya


BRAZIL: Technology Speeds Up 2010 Census, Says IBGE

IG reported on 29 September that the use of PDAs and online technologies have allowed IBGE, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, to interview 158.3 million people - the equivalent to 82 per cent of the population - only 2 months after launching the 2010 Census in Brazil. According to IBGE, the number of interviewers (around 230,000), and the training provided, have also contributed to the positive results. The use of PDAs reduces the average time of each interview to 5-7 minutes and it is likely that the census will be concluded before the original deadline. The assessment was presented in an international seminar on Census Technology, held in Rio de Janeiro, with participants from 20 countries. Assistant Representative Tais Santos represented UNFPA in the seminar and was quoted saying that the Brazilian Census is a “gigantic operation.”  Read in Portuguese: IG


BOLIVIA: Peer Education Programme Fights HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination

Multiple media outlets reported on 29 September that through a peer education methodology, UNESCO has been making efforts to fight against the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.  This process also involved UNAIDS and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: Cerigua, Diario la Region and Ultima Hora


ARGENTINA: Report Finds High Level of Awareness of HIV/AIDS Risk, Prevention Among Sexual Minorities

Misiones Online reported on 29 September that the National Ministry of Health presented a report, “Conditions of Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and STD, and problems of access to health care in homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in Argentina.” The research was supported technically and financially by UNAIDS, UNDP and UNFPA and was presented in the National Ministerial Staff Auditorium, in the city centre of Buenos Aires. The meeting lasted a day and involved the directors of the AIDS Programmes of all the provinces. We went to look for answers about conditions that occur in relationships in this population, but also, in health teams, and places for socialization, and entertainment where gays, trans, and bisexuals go to relate” said Claudio Bloch, lead study author and Director of AIDS and STIs of the National  Ministry of Health, during the presentation. Read in Spanish: Misiones Online


ARGENTINA: Over 4,200 Attend First Migrant Film Festival

EFE reported on 29 September that over 4,200 people came to the “Cine Migrante en Buenos Aires,” the First Migrant Film Festival organized in Buenos Aires. The Festival promotes dialogue and respect for the rights of immigrants. The programme includes workshops about refugees, the health condition of immigrants and the consequences for children. The event was organized by UNFPA Argentina, UNICEF and the IOM, among others. Read in Spanish: EFE



Le Sahel reported on 29 September that Niger celebrated the Day of Contraception at the National Centre of Reproductive Health. The theme of the day was “Your life - Your responsibility.” Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Public Health, Professor Nouhou Hasan stressed that this day aims to mobilize partners to take the necessary measures to assure that each woman who desires so can benefit from family planning services. UNFPA Representative Yacine Diallo, saluted in his speech, the engagement taken in the name of his Excellency the Head of State during the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly of the United Nations in New York from 20-22 of September, to ensure the free access and availability of quality, comprehensive reproductive health services and counseling for all women of reproductive age, and to fight violence towards women. Mr. Diallo took the opportunity to donate pharmaceutical and medical products, including contraceptives, to the Ministry of Health.

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NIGER: Le Sahel reported on 27 September that while participating in the work of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President of Niger Republic, the Corps General of army Djibo Salou, took the opportunity to meet with the Executive Director of UNFPA, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. After her interview with the Head of State, the Executive Director said to the press that UNFPA will strengthen its cooperation with Niger and that she was pleased to learn that a centre to treat obstetric fistula is opening in Niger.

SWEDEN: Göteborgs Posten published an editorial on 25 September called No more dead Moms,” referring to the new UN investment on reducing maternal mortality and increasing women’s rights to reproductive health. The editorial quoted UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, who commented on the new investment, saying “Women deliver for their families, communities and nations. Now it’s time to deliver for the women.” The editorial further wrote about the Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister, Gunilla Carlsson, who has taken a strong interest in the MDG 5 on maternal health. The Swedish government regards reducing maternal health a priority, and raised awareness to the goal during the UN MDG Summit. Read in Swedish: Goteborgs Posten

TUNISIA: Zawya reported on 29 September that as part of his participation in the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane had several talks with sisterly and friendly countries' delegations taking part in the current session. The Minister also conferred with the President of the General Assembly's 65th session, Joseph Deiss, on issues topping the General Assembly's agenda and Tunisia's contribution to the success of the institution's works. The Minister also met Messrs. Antonio Gutierrez, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, William Swing, Director-General of the IOM and Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director. Read: Zawya

UGANDA: The Monitor published an op-ed on 29 September arguing that the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals ended with promises to reduce relentless maternal deaths. As usual, the promises are huge but progress is always slow. We keep hoping that this time, something will be done to prevent unnecessary deaths linked to maternal health. Nobody disputes the importance of maternal health but surprisingly, nothing much is done to save lives. Since the inception of MDG5, little progress has been registered. According to the latest issue of "Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2008" by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank, maternal mortality declined globally by 34 per cent from the 1990s. What is disheartening is that Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for 87 per cent of the estimated 358,000 maternal deaths in 2008 and only 11 countries, six of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, account for 65 per cent of these deaths. Read: The Monitor


VIET NAM: To Control Prostitution By Simply Arresting Prostitutes Is “Mission Impossible”

Phap Luat thanh pho Ho Chi Minh (HCMC Law) reported on 28 September that the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), in partnership with UNFPA, held a conference on 27-28 September to review the past five years implementing the sex work prostitution programme for 2006-2010, and the goals, orientation and solutions for the 2011-2015 period.  At the conference, most representatives agreed that prostitution has become more sophisticated and difficult to control. Current regulations do not include issues such as homosexual prostitution; male prostitution; prostitution of foreigners; overseas prostitution; etc. According to a MoLISA’s report, over the past five years more than 4,300 children were sexually abused, and of these 62 per cent were raped. Child sexual abuse is most common in the Mekong Delta region, especially in Ca Mau, Dong Thap, An Giang, Vinh Long provinces. Read in Vietnamese: HCMC Law


MOZAMBIQUE: UNFPA Representative Visits Manica and Sofala

TVM, Rádio Cidade-Beira and Rádio Moçambique reported on 27-28 September that UNFPA Representative Patricia Guzman, visited the central provinces of Manica and Sofala to interact with local authorities and implementing partners. During the visit, Ms. Guzman said that Mozambique is progressing in the area of sexual and reproductive health. As an indicator of that she mentioned the reduction of unwanted pregnancies and the increase of births attended by skilled professionals. “In the district of Buzi we saw a model maternity, where births are more humanized, and there is a waiting house, where women living in distant places can wait,” she said.


MADAGASCAR: UNFPA Partnership With Faith Based Organizations

La Verite reported on 28 September that UNFPA is developing a collaboration with religious and traditional leaders in order to explain the interrelation between population and development for public awareness on the issue. The Muslim community is part of this partnership.


BURKINA FASO: UNFPA Provides Supplies to Flood Victims

Sidwaya reported on 28 September on the ceremony of delivery of dignity kits at the National Committee of Emergency Help and Rehabilitation. These kits are provided to victims of flooding that took place earlier in the year. UNFPA Assistant Representative Cecile Compaore, affirmed in her short speech that  UNFPA has demonstrated its engagement with the government of Burkina Faso to face the humanitarian emergency.


AZERBAIJAN: Azerbaijan, UN Discuss Family, Women, Children’s Issues

News.Az reported on 28 September that the Chairperson of Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova has met Zahidul Huque, UNFPA’s regional director. The talks focused on the prospects for cooperation between the State Committee and UNFPA. Ms. Huseynova praised the fact the Committee and UNFPA had expanded joint work to solve family, women and children problems. Huseynova also noted her country was ready to develop the relevant cooperation with the UNFPA even more. Read: News.Az


CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): UNFPA Supports Youth Training On Civic Education

Multiple media outlets reported on 2427 September on a training jointly organized in Brazzaville from 23-24 September by the Youth and Civic Education Ministry and UNFPA aimed at strengthening and promoting knowledge and practice on the culture of peace, citizenship, reproductive health, and civic and moral values for young people aged 15-35 years, by youth educators. Speaking on behalf of UNFPA Representative David Lawson, UNFPA Technical Specialist Roger Laly reiterated the Fund’s support to the government on youth issues and its involvement in the overall national development process. Speaking on behalf of Youth Minister Zacharie Kimpouni, Administrative and Legal Advisor, Jean Ngoulou, called on participants to invest themselves in this training. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-site and  Congo-Site


MADAGASCAR: Presentation of Research on Population and Development

La Verite reported on 27 September that a monograph of the Sofia region was presented by the Directorate of Method and Planning to sensitize decision-makers, authorities, technicians on the interrelation between the available resources and population needs. In addition, a debate on “Population and economic development” was held to discuss the possibilities presented by the region’s unexploited resources for fighting poverty.


MOZAMBIQUE: Delivery Services Still Not Adequate

Domingo reported on 26 September that delivery services are still not adequate in much of Mozambique. The paper gives the example of the districts of Morrumbene, Maxixe and Massinga, in Inhambane province, where many mothers still deliver their babies in deplorable conditions: In some cases, pregnant women have to walk long distances to reach a maternity ward, and in other circumstances, when they reach the hospital, there is no adequate equipment. Recently, UNFPA Representative in Mozambique, Patricia Guzman, met a group of traditional birth attendants in Maxixe, and she heard about their work and the challenges they face. They told her that they help those pregnant women who cannot reach the hospital, and sometimes they use candle light. Despite the difficulties, they said that they make efforts to provide safe deliveries. The article noted that before the end of next year, UNFPA will contribute $20 million to support the areas of its mandate in Mozambique.


MEXICO: National Day for the Prevention of Unintended Adolescent Pregnancy Held

Multiple media outlets reported on 24-25 September that UNFPA Representative Diego Palacios, in remarks marking the National Day for the Prevention of Unintended Adolescent Pregnancy, noted that 24 per cent of adolescents in Latin America do not have access to family planning. Read in Spanish: Notimex, Terra and Codigos


PARAGUAY: UNFPA Launches New Multilingual Website

Correo del Sur reported on 25 September that UNFPA presented its new website which can be accessed in four different languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymará and Guaraní. Read in Spanish: Correo del Sur