BBC and The Guardian featured interviews on 27 May and 1 June with UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin about issues, including those driving the debate around population and food security. He said, “If you see the world as a bread basket for everyone, then yes, there is enough food to go around – but there are gross inequities in terms of distribution and in terms of access. The main message must be that every country needs to put in serious national plans to ensure their own food sustainability. With political will, governments can feed their people. It's about ensuring that we work with nation states to help them take hard choices and invest appropriately to ensure that people – particularly women and girls – have all they require to participate actively within their own food security.” Listen: BBC Read: The Guardian
Ad Dustour reported on 1 June that the Queen Zein Al-Sharaf Institute for Development, in cooperation with UNFPA held a training on reproductive health issues for AL-Ghweiriyyeh directorate. The workshop aims to train Rafah 2 project’s staff on reproductive health rights and services and gender issues to build their training capacities and to be able to train their local communities focusing on young people (15-24 yrs). Read in Arabic: Ad Dustour
United News of Bangladesh reported on 1 June that the government signed an agreement with the United Nations country team under which Bangladesh will receive $1.8 billion grant assistance over a period of five years under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2012-2016. The assistance will help Bangladesh in achieving the MDGs by focusing on seven priority areas. Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and UN resident coordinator Neal Walker signed the agreement in the presence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the Finance Division conference room. Senior officials from the government and the UN agencies were present. The seven areas, each led by one UN agency, as outlined in the UNDAF are: Democratic Governance and Human Rights (UNDP); Pro-poor Growth with Equity (UNDP); Social Services for Human Development (UNICEF); Food Security and Nutrition (WFP); Climate Change, Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction and Response (UNDP); Pro-poor Urban Development (UNDP); Gender Equality and Women's Advancement (UNFPA). Read: United News of Bangladesh
Leadership reported on 1 June that Canada has promised to spend $21m (about N3.15b) over five years to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child death in Nigeria. The promise was made at the recently concluded G-8 Summit in Deauville, France, where the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, announced the new health plan as part of the Canadian-led Muskoka Initiative launched at the G-8 Summit in June 2010. "We are very pleased to support this initiative," said Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter. "Stronger health systems will allow Nigeria to prosper and to fulfill its full potential as a regional and economic leader." The project will be implemented by the United Nations Health 4 group (UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank). The group is led by UNICEF. Read: Leadership
Madamatin reported on 1 June that a three-day workshop was held in Toliary to train 25 traditional leaders from two southern regions of Madagascar in the use of gender-based violence education and communication materials. This workshop is funded by UNFPA and is the second of a series aimed at strengthening the traditional leaders’ capacity to conduct sensitization activities to promote gender. During the workshop, traditional leaders were trained to use a booklet on women victims of gender-based violence, a flip chart (boîte à images) on women’s rights and a film telling the stories of traditional leaders involved in the promotion of gender equity.
Midi Madagaskaria reported on 1 June that UNFPA, WHO, and UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, launched a national immunization campaign aimed at eradicating maternal and neonatal tetanus throughout the country by 2012. Overall, 1.6 million women of reproductive age are targeted nationwide. The first phase of the campaign is implemented in the 39 health districts most at risk located in 17 out of 22 regions. It will last one week and will be followed by two others scheduled to take place in July 2011 and January 2012. The campaign is funded by a $802,000 donation from the Pampers Company.
L'Union reported on 1 June on a sensitization workshop on obstetric fistula. UNFPA staffer Patricia Keba explained the causes and consequences of obstetric fistula. In Gabon, UNFPA has helped identify 90 cases and specific recommendations have been made to the Health Ministry to address the issue. She outlined that fistula was also the reflection of a weakened health system with insufficient equipped health structures and skilled health personnel. UNFPA has advocated with success for the recognition of obstetric fistula as a public health issue. Affected women are now expected to be treated. Dr. Keba said, "Addressing fistula will be done not only through treatment but also by addressing its root causes, including early pregnancy, poverty, lack of education and autonomy of women."