The Ivorian Press Agency reported on 31 March that UNFPA organized a workshop to enhance the capacity of the health and social sectors, as well as NGO and United Nations staff members to address gender-based violence.
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): UNFPA Representative Addresses International Forum on Central African Indigenous Peoples
Tele 3 Ateliers Sud reported on 31 March on a keynote address by UNFPA Representative David Lawson to the International Forum on Central African Indigenous Peoples, held from 16-19 March. Mr. Lawson said that of an estimated 300,000 inhabitants in early 2000, the latest 2007 census indicated an indigenous population at 43,500. Mr. Lawson said, "A high maternal mortality rate and very little knowledge about AIDS are a lethal combination . . . urgent action must be taken, with sectoral policies and programmes addressing specifically indigenous people's needs to enhance their reproductive health and avoid their extinction."
Al Jazeera published, on 31 March, “Stories of Mothers Saved,” a collection of individual stories of women who did not die needlessly in pregnancy or childbirth and have lived to tell their stories. The film is part of the Stories of Mothers Saved initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and UNFPA. Read: Al Jazeera
OEM, CDN, Segundo a Segundo and Tiempo reported on 31 March that the UN Resident Coordinator along with UN agency representatives, including Diego Palacios Jaramillo, UNFPA Mexico Representative, met with the Governor from the State of Chihuahua, Cesar Duarte. During the meeting, several issues related to the UNFPA mandate were addressed, such as human rights, migration, gender-based violence, and youth. As a result of the meeting, a commitment agenda was established in order to strengthen the local public policies. Read in Spanish: OEM, CDN and Segundo a Segundo
Congo-site reported on 30 March on a meeting between the President’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues, Blandine Lumande, and UNFPA Representative David Lawson to prepare for a training session for the 1,000 staff members of the various institutions pertaining to the Presidency on the draft gender parity law currently prepared by the Government. The UN diplomat stressed the critical role of women working at the presidency, since the President himself proposed this law. Mr. Lawson also encouraged the government to open women’s houses in each province of the country to foster women training and capacity building to occupy policy-decision making positions. Read in French: Congo-Site
The Daily Trust reported on 30 March that the National Population Commission has said that 22 per cent of the total housing units in Nigeria are rented accommodation while 68 per cent are dwelling units. NPC Chairman, Chief Samu’ila Danko Makama stated this as UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin led a delegation on a courtesy call to his office in Abuja. Dr. Osotimehin said that based on the recommended 10 years interval of the United Nations, it is recommending to the federal government for the next general census to be conducted in 2016. He said that while NPC can only advise the federal government on a census date, the final decision lies with the Presidency. Read: The Daily Trust
The Pioneer continued reporting on March 30 on the recent UNFPA-supported Survey on Ageing conducted by the National Statistical Service of Armenia, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the National Institute of Labour and Social Research. One fourth of the population of the country is over the age of 50. Only 36.5 per cent of Armenians of that age group has a job. In the opinion of the interviewed men and women of the age group, the most important factor for starting one’s own business is connections and acquaintances (29.2 per cent and 44.8 per cent respectively). Read in Armenian: The Pioneer
Multiple media outlets reported on 30 March on the official presentation of the results of the sociological study, “Gender Dimension of Civic and Political Participation in Armenia.” The study was supported within the framework of UNFPA’s “Combating Gender-Based Violence in the South Caucasus” project by the Caucasus Sociological Research Centre. The purpose of the study was to explore comparative characteristics and dynamics of women’s and men’s participation in socio-political processes, to identify social, economic, political, educational, psychological and other factors that promote or impede women’s full-pledged participation in those processes. Read: Public Radio of Armenia, Armenpress, News.am, Ankakh.com, Noyan Tapan, Panarmenian.net. Read in Russian: Novosti - Armeniya, Panarmenian.net, Novoe Vremya, Forum.gender.ru, News.am. Read in Armenian: Public Radio of Armenia, Armenpress, Armtown.com, Aysor.am, Panorama.Am, News.am, Report.am, Mardik.am, Hayastani Hanrapetutyun, Novosti - Armeniya, Ankakh.com, Noyan Tapan
The Bangkok Post reported on 30 March that the head of HIV/AIDS surveillance of the Bureau of Epidemiology has expressed concern over a growing number of HIV/AIDS cases in teen pregnancy. The article noted that Chaiyos Kunanusont, of UNFPA, said condoms were still the most important tool for HIV/AIDS prevention. No effective vaccine has yet been developed although several candidates are undergoing trials. Read: The Bangkok Post
L’Essor reported on 29 March that the President of the Republic met the Heads of UN agencies, including UNFPA Representative Makane Kane. The UN Resident Coordinator Mbaranga Gasarabwe presented the “Delivering as One” process in Mali and highlighted some of the major challenges of the country that the UN was going to assist in resolving in the future. Read in French: L'Essor
La Semaine Africaine reported on 29 March on the closing ceremony of a training on women and governance jointly organized by the Women's Affairs Ministry, UNDP, UNFPA and the NGO Mibeko. The purpose of this workshop was to sensitize and prepare women to occupy policy decision-making positions in the context of the draft parity bill, currently under review by the government. Workshop participants requested the speedy adoption of the draft gender parity law announced by President Sassou Nguesso in August 2010. Read in French: La Semaine Africaine
The Pioneer reported on 29 March that the WHO has come out with its first list of what it called the "Top 30 Medicines To Save Mothers and Children,” a formulary of drugs that every hospital and clinic in every developing country should have. It has been developed in association with the UNFPA and UNICEF to help countries and partners select and make available those medicines that will have the biggest impact on reducing maternal, newborn and child morbidity and mortality.
LEBANON: UNFPA-Supported Project Leads to the Launch of Sexual Health Unit at Ministry Of Social Affairs
Multiple media outlets reported on March 24-29 on the launching of the establishment of a sexual health unit by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The unit takes over from a UNFPA-supported project implemented by the ministry for the last decade and in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health. The Minister of Social Affairs discussed the necessity of preventive measures for teenagers who still lack information about sexual matters which, he said, “Often leads to drug abuse, dropping out from school, and early sexual relations generating sexual diseases.” The Minister also stated that one of the unit’s main tasks will consist of making youth-friendly services available. Read in Arabic: Al Markazia, 14 March, Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, Al Akhbar, Now Lebanon
Cumhuriyet reported on 29 March that representatives of governments and international organizations will gather to discuss the underlying reasons for health inequalities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with a focus on Roma, disadvantaged youth, migrants and refugees/IDPs from 28-30 March 2011. The event was organized by UNFPA’s Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The event will include discussions of findings in a new report titled "Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Vulnerable Populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia," commissioned by the Fund, as well as reports published by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Programme on social exclusion and social determinants of health in the European region, with the aim to strengthen programmatic and advocacy efforts towards reducing health inequalities in the region. Read in Turkish: Cumhuriyet
24.kg reported on 29 March that recently, Kyrgyz authorities announced the results of the survey “Population of Kyrgyzstan: situation and development prospects,” provided by order of the President’s office and with support from UNFPA and UNDP.
Right Vision reported on 29 March that the shortage of doctors was hampering the efforts of the health department to bring down mother and infant mortality rate in the district, said Executive District Officer Health Mohammad Javed Tanoli. "It is regrettable that over 76 posts of doctors, especially lady doctors, are vacant in the district for the last many years. This affects our efforts to increase skilled birth attendants," he told a ceremony, held in connection with the mother and child health awareness programme. The health department, in collaboration with UNFPA, has launched a programme to create awareness about diseases related to mothers and children in the district. UNFPA district programme officer Mohammad Ali also spoke on the occasion. Mr. Tanoli said that 72 health centres, out of a total 100, were destroyed in 2005 during the devastating earthquake but UNFPA extended help to the health department and established makeshift health centres across the district.
The Jakarta Post reported on 29 March that Kiran Bhatia, a regional adviser on gender at UNFPA’s Asia and the Pacific regional office, said that parliamentarians could introduce new policies and support initiatives to protect women, as well as amend outdated laws that were discriminatory to women. “Parliamentarians can play a big role in raising women’s voices in parliament. They can definitely play an essential role in allocating more funds for ‘weak’ ministries. Women’s ministries are often weak; so, they need more support,” she said at the eighth Regional Women Ministers and Parliamentarians’ Conference on Young Women and Girls. Read: The Jakarta Post
The Citizen reported on 29 March that the United Nations announced the launch in June of a $773 million (Sh1.08 trillion) four-year new development assistance plan for the country. The UN Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) is the business plan of 20 UN agencies, funds and programmes in Tanzania for July 2011 to June 2015. The briefing was attended by UNFPA Representative Julitta Onabanjo, UNHCR Representative Oluseyi Bajulaiye, and UNICEF Deputy Representative Mohamed El Munir Safieldin. Read: The Citizen
The Nation reported on 29 March that UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin has said his organisation would advance family planning in Africa within the next four years. Briefing journalists in New York, he said his goal as Executive Director would be to promote child spacing and equal opportunity for women and young people, especially in Africa. Read: The Nation
Today reported on 28 March that the Forum for African Women Educationist (FAWEGAM) with support from UNFPA organized a one day sensitization with community and religious leaders in Farafenni on the effects of all forms of discrimination against women and girls. The objective of the forum was to discuss with community leaders to support in eradicating and putting a halt to all forms of violence against women. Read: Today
UzReport reported on 28 March that representatives of governments and international organizations will gather to discuss the underlying reasons for health inequalities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with a focus on Roma, disadvantaged youth, migrants and refugees/IDPs from 28-30 March. During the three-day meeting, participants will explore ways to strengthen health systems to address these underlying factors and meet the needs of disadvantaged populations with an emphasis on maternal and child health and sexual and reproductive health. The event was organized by UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The event was to include discussion of findings in a new report titled "Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Vulnerable Populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia," commissioned by UNFPA, as well as reports published by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Programme on social exclusion and social determinants of health in the European region, with the aim to strengthen programmematic and advocacy efforts towards reducing health inequalities in the region.
Multiple media outlets reported on 24-27 March on a sexual and reproductive health education programme held on 22 March for middle and high school students. It was under the Mobile Telecentre Project, an initiative of the Trinidad Association: Citizenship, Culture and Development and has the support of UNFPA. Read in Spanish: Jaku'eke and ABC
The News International reported on 26 March on a fundraising effort led by wives of eight ambassadors to the country. The event was addressed by UNFPA Representative Rabbi Royan who also thanked the ladies and said a few words about the condition as well as women’s health in general and what was being done to improve it. Read: The News International
Viet Nam Television (VTV1) reported on 25 March that gender-based violence is a global problem. In Viet Nam, according to the National Study on Domestic Violence against Women carried out by the General Statistics Office and the United Nations in November 2010, 34 per cent of ever-married women reported that they have suffered physical or sexual violence from their husbands at some time in their lives. With support from UNFPA, a counselling room where medical treatment, care, counselling and referral services are available for survivors of GBV has been set up in Doan Hung hospital, Phu Tho Province. UNFPA Representative Bruce Campbell said that the UN Country Team will support the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) to develop a comprehensive minimum package of GBV prevention, treatment, protection, and supported services. “What we would like to see between now and 2015 is that every victim of violence, man, woman or child, has access within 30 minutes travel time to a basic minimum package of services: prevention services, treatment, legal support, judicial support as well as mitigation, care and support if someone becomes a victim of violence,” said Mr. Campbell.
Weekly Savana reported on 25 March that a simple surgical operation can restore the dignity of over 100,000 Mozambicans who have developed fistula during deliveries. The article highlighted stories of fistula survivors treated in Maputo by Dr. Igor Vaz, a Mozambican medical doctor who has been running an exchange programme between local and American fistula experts. The article noted that a five-year national programme to eradicate fistula is currently being discussed in Mozambique. The programme will include advocacy and information about fistula, increase of the number of patients treated, training of medical personnel and social reintegration of fistula patients. The same report says that an international campaign to eradicate fistula is being implemented in 49 countries in Africa, Asia and Arab states with the support of UNFPA. One of the activists of the campaign, it adds, is Catarina Furtado, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, who has produced a documentary entitled “Dar a vida sem morrer”, in Portuguese.
The Jamaica Gleaner reported on 25 March that the death of one of their own has put youth leaders across Jamaica in a militant mood. They are now calling for the Government to take a serious look at the health sector and review the no-user-fee policy. The article noted that Jevine Williamson is remembered as the backbone of the Portmore Youth Council. She was the leader of the Portmore Young Women's Mentorship and Support Group, as well as member of the Jamaica United Nations Population Fund, National Youth Service Youth Club and the Silverstone Police Youth Club. Read: The Jamaica Gleaner
UzReport reported on 25 March that UNFPA supported a roundtable discussion on establishing cooperation between national partners and international organizations on implementation of the recently adopted National Action Plan on CEDAW. Read: UzReport and in Russian: UzReport and CA-News
Dawn reported on 25 March that the Sindh census monitoring committee and the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh chapter have demanded that a census in troubled urban areas be conducted under the supervision of the armed forces. The article noted that the upcoming census will be held in two phases. In the first phase, a house count will be undertaken from 5-9 April; and in the second phase, likely to start in September or October this year, both houses and population will be covered. UNFPA will provide technical support and help mobilize all stakeholders. Machine-readable census forms will be used in the process. Read: Dawn
The News International reported on 25 March that the Federal Health Ministry and UNFPA have closed down an emergency project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, abandoning rare healthcare services in the region`s remote flood affected areas. The emergency project, Humanitarian Support Team (HST), was launched by the Federal Health Ministry`s National Mother, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Programme in collaboration with UNFPA in the flood-hit areas of Pakistan and AJK in October last year. Read: The News International
The Daily Trust reported on 25 March that the executive director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin, has reasoned that for Nigeria to achieve reduction in its high maternal and infant mortality and improve its deploying health indices, 15 per cent of its national budget needs to be allocated to health. The former minister of health, who is now the executive director of UNFPA, pointed out that already the country has laudable policies but what is still lacking is the implementing power which if well funded would go a long way in providing accessible healthcare to the masses. Dr. Osotimehin, who was on his first working visit to the country since he became the UNFPA boss, said he is in the country to reiterate UNFPA’s mandate to collaborate with Nigeria as well as continue to provide technical assistance to the health sector. Read: Daily Trust