The Guardian reported on 31 December that the coalition government will put contraception and safe abortion at the heart of its efforts to help save women's lives in poor countries. Two documents set out plans for international development, which has a ringfenced budget. One focuses on the fight against malaria, to which the chancellor, George Osborne, is personally committed. The other envisages increasing efforts to save the lives of women in childbirth and their babies. Funding in poor countries will double between 2010 and 2015 from the 2008 level, and then plateau. The UK will spend an average of £740m a year on women's and children's health, totaling £4.4b n, an extra £2.1bn more than previous commitments. Within this total, says DfID, there will be "significant" spending on reproductive health, with the aim of enabling 10 million more women "to choose whether, when and how many children to have". Details of how much money will go to agencies such as UNFPA, Marie Stopes and others will not be available until DfID's total spending review is completed early in 2011. Read: The Guardian
LEBANON: Al Afkar reported on 31 December on an event organized by Y-PEER Lebanon on 8-9 December with the support of UNFPA and under the high patronage of the Minister of Public Health. Placed under the slogan “Our Health, Our Right... Let’s Take a Stand”, the two-day awareness raising event consisted of three edutainment activities and reached over 800 high schools students from public and private schools throughout Lebanon. The event was animated by TV celebrity Mr. Tony Baroud. The article described the UNFPA-supported Y-PEER initiative in the context the AIDS situation among young people in Lebanon. It also provided details of the event’s main activities and highlighted excerpts of the speeches of Dr Ziad Rifai, UNFPA Lebanon Country Director and Dr. Moustafa El Naqib, Director of the National Aids Control Programme. Read in Arabic: Al Afkar
Al Rai reported on 31 December on Y-Peer in Jordan. The article highlighted the mandate of UNFPA-Jordan in general , and, more specifically, its role in working with young people and the expansion of its work with youth through the establishment of the Y-Peer Network. Read in Arabic: Al Rai
UN Radio reported on 31 December that the protection of women and girls in camps for people displaced by the earthquake which devastated Haiti last January is being stepped up. Sexual violence against women has been a growing problem in the Caribbean island following the earthquake as communities were broken up and strangers thrown together. But now women are getting the extra support they need to help them to stay safe. The kits which have been distributed to thousands of women across Haiti contain towels, condoms, sanitary items, a rape whistle, and other essentials that are in short supply. Marjorie Michel, is Haiti's Minister of Women's Affairs. She says that the hygienic articles that are being provided by UNFPA are given to women in difficult situations. Women in the camps are also now being provided with a variety of maternal health services, including temporary and mobile clinics for tens of thousands of expectant mothers. Igor Bosc, UNFPA Representative in Haiti, said, "The situation in Haiti has completely changed after the earthquake. We can see here, people living in camps, there's 1.5 million people in such conditions. Living there is not easy. There's little access to water, little access to basic health services.” Read: UN Radio
The News International and The Pak Observer reported on 31 December that Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) was to hold a one-day consultative workshop titled “Empowering Women through Legislation.” The workshop being arranged for women parliamentarians will be held in collaboration with UNFPA at Bhurban. The Provincial Ministers for Women Development and members of provincial assemblies will attend the workshop while Minister for Women Development, Firdous Ashiq Awan will also grace the occasion. Read: Pak Observer and The News International
Women’s eNews reported on 30 December that mobile health units are rolling clinicians into remote parts of Bolivia and helping to lower one of the world's worst rates of maternal mortality. Through a programme funded by International Planned Parenthood Federation--which also paid for some of the costs of reporting this story--three white pick-up trucks traverse the unpaved Bolivian countryside 36 weeks a year, offering care and educational workshops to over 100,000 Bolivians, including many of the low-income women in rural areas who are among those at greatest risk of maternal mortality. The trucks are known as mobile health units."These mobile units are a great advance for the country," says Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Representative in Bolivia. "They are bringing quality services to those who need it the most." Every day, about 1,000 women around the world die during pregnancy or childbirth; 99 per cent of them are in developing countries, according to U.N. statistics. Read: Women’s eNews
The Daily Observer reported on 30 December that UNFPA presented items worth for the 2013 population and housing census. The items, which were received by the Vice President and Minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy at the launching of the Women Federation KMC chapter at the Serrekunda West Mini-Stadium included three Toyota vehicles, computers, printer accessories, stationeries for census mapping, and furniture for the cartography unit, among other valuable items. Speaking at the occasion, Lamin Nyabally, Permanent Secretary #1, Office of the Vice President, said UNFPA has been complementing government efforts in developing different sectors such as health, education, women empowerment and poverty alleviation. He acknowledged that the items will be very useful for the upcoming population census. He thanked UNFPA for being a long-term partner of government and assured of the proper use of the items for the purpose they're meant for. Read: The Daily Observer
Multiple media outlets reported on 29 December that UNFPA Syria launched the Country Programme Evaluation Report in cooperation with State Planning Commission, and participation of key national counterparts and stakeholders that endorsed the key conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations. Read in Arabic: Sana, Al Thawra
L’Express reported on 29 December on preparations for the upcoming census as the Prime Minister installed the coordination committee for the 2011 Population and Housing Census. This census should have taken place in 2009, but was suspended because of the socio-political situation in the country. The Director General of the National Statistics Institute announced that the census will take place from 15-31 August. He also said that as the World Bank funds for the census have been frozen, he needs to look for other financial partners. He said, “UNFPA said that they can't cover the budget for the census but that they can give technical assistance and support for resource mobilization efforts." Read in French: L’Express
PARAGAUAY: PPN and Radio Viva reported on 29 December that UNFPA, announced the appointment of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin as its new Executive Director, who succeeds Ms. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid when her term ends 31 December. Read in Spanish: Radio Viva and PPN
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: UNFPA BiH Supports Campaign On Fight Against Cervical Cancer “Starting Life From Scratch“
Multiple media outlets reported on 28 December on a campaign to fight against cervical cancer, “Starting Life from Scratch,“ which was supported by UNFPA Bosnia and Herzegovina. A press conference in Sarajevo marked the start of a campaign on cervix cancer awareness campaign. The campaign ends in January with a major event featuring local celebrities. UNFPA Assistant Representative Faris Hadrovic stated that it is necessary to educate the people, because cervical cancer can be prevented by regular screenings and with early diagnosis whereas with appropriate treatment most women can be cured. Read in Bosnian: TVSA, Sarajevo-x.com, Ljiljan, Depo and Telex.ba
The News International reported on 28 December that Hazara Division Commissioner Sahibzada Anis stressed the need for investigating polio cases among children who had been administered anti-polio drops but still suffered from the disease. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the three-day polio eradication campaign, he said the crippling disease could not be eradicated until all segments of society made concerted efforts. Executive District Officer (Health) Mohammad Javed, District Coordination Officer Umber Ali, UNFPA District Programme Officer Dr Mohammad Ali, King Abdullah Teaching Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Niaz Mohammad and Abbottabad District Coordination Officer Zahirul Islam were among those present. Read: The News International
The Daily Observer reported on 28 December that the Network of Adolescents and Youth on Population and Development (NAYPOD), recently held a one-day meeting on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS with stakeholders and youths in Essau, Lower Nuimi District in the North Bank Region. The programme was funded by UNFPA to promote community outreach to intensify and strengthen information flow among the youthful population with regard to sexual and reproductive health information. Speaking at the occasion, the president of NAYPOD, Lamin Marong said that the programme is geared towards creating awareness among youths especially on adolescent health and reproductive health information and rights. Read: The Daily Observer
EL SALVADOR: Proceso reported on 28 December that despite its biblical name, El Salvador is one of the most dangerous, violent and criminal on earth. The report "State of World Population 2010", from the UNFPA, said that El Salvador has a femicide rate of 129.46 per million women, which makes it the global leader in such crimes.Read in Spanish: Proceso
TOGO: Togo Television TVT, reported on 26 December on the official launch of the 2010 SWOP report, which was carried out on 23 December in Lomé. UNFPA Representative. Cécile Mukarubuga, pointed out that the essential point of this report is the need for taking into account the vulnerable women and populations in the management of the conflicts, the peace negotiations and the efforts of rebuilding in post-conflict periods.
APP reported on 27 December that non-governmental organizations expressed concern over higher rate of maternal death during delivery in Balochistan in comparison with other provinces. This was stated in a seminar organized by UNFPA in collaboration with Health Department here Sunday. A large number of representatives from NGOs and other stakeholders attended the event. Addressing the seminar, speakers including Barkat Ali Baloch of District Community Development, Amir Akram Alizai of UNFPA, Zahid Hussain Mengal of Aazat Foundation. Read: APP
Viet Nam Television broadcast on 23 and 26 December an interview with Tran Thi Van, UNFPA Assistant Representative, on the occasion of the Viet Nam Population Day. Ms. Van shared an experience on Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) in South Korea, the only country that has experienced a decrease of the SRB imbalance. Its SRB imbalance peaked at 115 in 1995, but has been decreasing since then and is now at biologically normal level of 106 boy births per 100 girl births. According to her, since the early 1990s, the Government of South Korea acted to prohibit the identification of the sex of the fetus, and harsh penalties and regulations were imposed on those who violated the ban. Some of the doctors who conducted illegal sex-selective abortions were stripped of their medical licenses and were indicted. This is one of the good lessons that Viet Nam could learn in addressing this issue.
The Himalayan Times reported on 25 December that the National Statistical Institute (NSI) has organized a three-day training on poverty measurement in the capital, beginning on 25 December. The training, entitled “Poverty Estimation using National Population Census and Living Standards Measurement Survey Data” and supported by UNFPA and Nepal’s Government, aimed to focus on the theory developed by the World Bank for poverty measurement in developing countries and its practical aspects‚ the NSI said. Read: The Himalayan Times
Orissa Diary reported on 25 December that Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) organized a media advocacy workshop for the correspondents of both print and electronic media on 24 December. The workshop aimed at sensitizing correspondents so that they would advocate for bringing appropriate changes in the policy framework for inclusion of Life Skills Education (LSE) in the existing educational system. With the support of UNFPA, KISS has been honing the abilities of its students through LSE and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health to enable them to deal with the demands and challenges in their quotidian life effectively. Read: Orissa Diary
BruDirect.com featured an op-ed by Dr. Hjh Norol-Ehsan Hj Abd Hamid, Medical Officer, Health Promotion Centre, Brunei Darussalam on 25 December on the risks of early motherhood, noting that pregnancy is a possibility any time a woman has sexual activity during her fertile period. This is true for any woman of childbearing age, including teenagers. Most teenagers do not plan to get pregnant, but many do. According to UNFPA, teenage adolescence is a period of increased risk-taking behaviour, including sexual behaviour. Apart from getting infected from organisms causing STIs, including AIDS, pregnancy is one of the consequences. Compared with their older peers, younger girls are medically more vulnerable to these consequences due to their relatively immature reproductive and immune system. Read: BruDirect.com
Ankakh.com reported on 24 December on a UNFPA-supported survey on domestic violence against women that was conducted among women aged 15-59 from 4720 households throughout the country. It turns out that violence against women is common in Armenia, with violence from the partner being the most frequent. According to data published in UNFPA Armenia’s “Combating Gender Based Violence in South Caucasus” Project, 7.4 per cent of women reported that partners have forced them to quit their jobs, while 8.7 per cent of respondents have mentioned their partners taking their income against their will. Read in Armenian: Ankakh.com.
The Daily Mirror published an article on 24 December arguing that if Sri Lanka is to succeed in its plan to become a highly developed or wealthy nation, then the government needs to take effective steps to ensure that it is also a healthy nation. UNFPA recently rated Sri Lanka as the best in Asia in terms of curbing infant death rates and related factors. Yet that is only a small step in restoring a health service where the well-being of the patients is given top priority. Read: The Daily Mirror
The Daily Times reported on 24 December that a post-flood maternal child health-care project would be launched in seven districts of Sindh, according to the officials of the National Trust for Population Welfare (NATPOW). Chief Executive Officer of NATPOW Ifikhar Durrani and its Director Programme and Development Dr. Nasser Mohyuddin, held a meeting with Secretary Sindh Population Welfare Department Rizwan Memon, Special Secretary Sindh Health Department Seema Najeeb, Principal Officer President’s Primary Health Initiative Syed Shahid Ali, and Provincial Finance Officer and Administration Manager Sindh Ajmal Memon. The main objective of the meeting was to introduce the NATPOW-UNFPA projects to be launched throughout the country. The officials stated that the first project is a “Post-flood Maternal Child Health Care Project” which will operate in 20 districts of Pakistan. Read: The Daily Times
Le Sahel Dimanche reported on 24 December on the Niger UNFPA Annual Programme review held from 22-23 December in Niamey. Participants were partners from government, UNFPA, and civil society organizations involved in the implementation of the programme. In his speech, the UNFPA Niger Representative Yacine Diallo indicated that the review is an occasion for all participants to appreciate the programme’s progress and identify the best practices, difficulties, lessons learnt. This will help UNFPA Niger Programme to improve its implementation strategies for better results. In the opening speech, the Ministry of Economy and Finance Secretary General Ibrahim Garba appreciated the quality of the cooperation between UNFPA and the Niger Government. He indicated that after two years of the programme implementation, positive results have been recorded in the different domains covered by the UNFPA Programme, namely, the reproductive health, gender equality, human rights and population and development.
GNA reported on 24 December that the Ghana Health Service has given awards to 34 drivers from transport unions in all the 17 districts who transported women in labour to health facilities during the year. Esther Dua Oyinka, a Coordinator of UNFPA, which sponsors the programme, advised the drivers to report and also to take claim forms from nurses any time they convey a pregnant woman to a health facility in order for them to keep track of the number of women they transport during the year. Read: GNA
ABC reported on 23 December that sewing equipment were delivered to the United Women's Association of Sur Bañador, for the workshop “United Apparel,” which is being supported by “Joint Opportunities for Youth: Capabilities and economic opportunities for social inclusion.” The workshop is developing the capacity for income generation and employment of young poor, vulnerable and especially the empowerment of women. “Joint Opportunities for Youth” is supported by a national government initiative, with the Ministry of Justice and Labour, the Technical Secretariat of Planning, the Ministry of Women and the Vice Ministry of Youth, in conjunction with the United Nations system, including, UNFPA. Read in Spanish: ABC
The Guardian (Nigeria) reported on 23 December on the recent launch of the African Union Youth Volunteers’ Corps, an initiative by the African Union Commission and others to support youth leadership in the country. The launch was attended by numerous supporters, including representatives from UNFPA. Read: The Guardian
IRIN reported on 23 December that Ethiopia's Government has come up with an ambitious plan to halve new HIV infections, quadruple its annual condom distribution and put 85 per cent of people who need life-prolonging HIV medication on treatment within five years. While the country's progress is impressive, analysts say there is still much to be done. A recent survey by UNFPA and the Population Council found that stigma and ignorance were still common among young people. "A considerable per centage of young people had never heard of condoms or had no exposure to them," the study found. "One third of young people [aged 12-24] felt that moral people do not use condoms; 48 per cent of young people felt that condoms should not be used within marriage; and roughly half felt that condoms are used by promiscuous people." The authors recommended increased attention to marital transmission of HIV/AIDS and the use of condoms within marriage. Read: IRIN
Syria-News.com reported on 23 December that the Cabinet approved a draft law on establishing the National Social Aid Fund. The project was launched jointly by UNDP, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and UNFPA in 2007 based on the available statistics in 2004's “Income and Expenditure Survey.” It is still being implemented. Read: Syria-News.com
24.kg reported on 22 December that UNFPA and UNIFEM have supported the Association of Crisis Centres in collecting and documenting gender-based violence cases, providing access to psycho-social help to GBV victims and organizing mobile groups to help GBV survivors as a response to emergency situation in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Read in Russian: 24.kg
Diario Ahora reported on 22 December that UNFPA has delivered educational materials and female condoms to the Regional Health Directorate of Ucayali as part of the supply of inputs from the Ministry of Health. The donation aims to prevent unintended pregnancies in fertile women and the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Ucayali region. Read in Spanish: Diario Ahora