The Hindustan Times and IANS reported on 30 and 31 July on the opening ceremony of the India International Jewelry Week, where 40 celebrities will take to the ramp with their daughters in aid of Beti, a campaign against female foeticide supported by UNFPA. Read: The Hindustan Times
IPS reported on 27 July that the U.N. said that famine can lead to complications during pregnancy and childbirth and increases the risk of maternal deaths and infant illnesses. "Experts estimate that eliminating malnutrition among mothers can reduce disabilities in their infants by almost one third. UNFPA country offices in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are carrying out emergency measures to distribute reproductive health care supplies, medical equipment and dignity kits to affected populations. This will ensure life saving treatment for mothers and their children, while also facilitating safe deliveries of newborns," the statement said. Read: IPS
IRAN: IRNA published on 25 July UNFPA’s press release announcing that it was scaling up its response to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. “We are deeply concerned by the gravity of the situation in the region,” said UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin. “We call upon the international community to urgently look after the unique needs of pregnant women and mothers whose families’ survival are particularly at risk.” Read: IRNA
KENYA: The East African reported on 31 July that UNFPA is distributing reproductive healthcare kits as part of efforts to save the lives of pregnant women and those with newborns as the humanitarian crisis caused by the drought and ensuing famine takes its toll on communities in Somalia, some parts of Ethiopia and Kenya. The kits include hygiene items like sanitary pads, underwear and soap. Because of the strict dress codes for women in Somalia, headscarves are also included in these kits to ensure women’s mobility so that they can walk to food distribution centres without fear of being attacked by Islamic extremists. Read: The East African
Al-Rai and Addustour reported on 31 July on a seminar on the “implications of demographic changes on development in Jordan” conducted at Al-Rai Research by the Higher Population Council and the United Nations Population Fund/Jordan Office in cooperation with Al-Rai Research and Studies Center. The participants discussed the size of the population, its growth rate, geographic distribution, demographic characteristics and economic features that impact the development capabilities of any country and its opportunities for improvement of quality of life and poverty reduction. Three main papers were presented: Population and Economics; Population and the Social and Environmental Situation, and Services Provided; and, Population Projections. Read in Arabic: Al Rai
Dawn reported on 30 July that highlighting the role of midwives in the improvement of maternal health, senior health professionals urged the government to ensure a significant increase in the number of health workers equipped with midwifery skills in the country. Speaking at a press conference, they said that trained midwives could not only make pregnancies normal and safer, but also timely identify complications, if there were any, that needed medical specialists’ intervention, particularly in rural areas. The press conference, which was led by Shershah Syed, was held in connection with the launch of a teleplay on maternal health produced by Tehrik-i-Niswan in collaboration with the Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health and UNFPA. Read: Dawn
UNITED STATES/SYRIA: Despite Western Sanctions Against Syria, U.N. Quietly Extends Development Aid to Country
Fox News (US) reported on 29 July that amid economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other Western democracies to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end his brutal eleven-year reign, the United Nations has quietly agreed to extend its current development partnership agreement with the Assad government, which was set to expire this year. News of the current U.N. programme extension was tucked into a document presented to the 36-nation Executive Board that oversees operations of UNDP, UNFPA and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), at a semi-annual session in early July, extending current programmes in both Syria and Egypt. (The U.S. is a member of the Executive Board, and so is the Assad regime’s biggest supporter, Iran.) While it refers in its headings only to UNFPA, the text of the Executive Board document specifically affirms that the U.N. as a whole agreed with the Assad regime on the extension to what is known as the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, or UNDAF, for Syria, even as it also observes that Syria is “facing a challenge with the wave of unrest that has spread throughout the country.” Among other things, the UNFPA documents note that the Assad government “has introduced a comprehensive reform package” that “embraces various spheres” including youth employment, and says that the one-year extension will allow UNFPA, for one, to “create an enabling environment to empower youth and enable them to participate in decision-making and planning at central and local levels.” Read: Fox News
MEXICO: CENSIDA Will Increase Availability Of Female Condoms For Distribution To Vulnerable Populations
El Universal and Grupo Milenio reported on 29 July, that the National Centre for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS (CENSIDA) will distribute second generation female condoms in order to prevent and protect women from this pandemic. The contraceptives will be distributed to vulnerable populations, including adolescents and young people. Read in Spanish: El Universal Grupo Milenio
Telenoticias Channel 7 and La Prensa Libre reported on 29 July the launch of the Campaign "1 +1 We make Costa Rica" an awareness campaign aimed for visitors and employees of the General Direction for Migration and Immigration (DGME) in relation to the positive contributions of migrants living in Costa Rica. The campaign was developed with funding from the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation and Development (AECI) and under the direction of the DGME, the Centre for Social Rights of Migrants (Cenderos) and UNFPA. Watch in Spanish: Telenoticias Canal 7 Read in Spanish: La Prensa Libre
The New York Times (United States) reported on 29 July on efforts to conserve energy in Japan, noting "Already a leader in conservation, Japan consumes about half as much energy per capita as the United States, according to UNFPA. But it has been pushed to even greater lengths since the nuclear disaster even as it tries to revive its economy. The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the resulting backlash against nuclear power have left only 17 out of Japan's 54 reactors online as the nation steels itself for August, the hottest month of the year.” Read: The New York Times
Leadership reported on 29 July that the Executive Director of the UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin has tasked world leaders to embrace youths and invest in them in order to provide an opportunity for accelerated economic progress. Speaking at a panel discussion of the ongoing United Nations High-Level international summit on youths in New York, Osotimehin made a strong case for full participation of young people in development and investing in their health and education, including sexual and reproductive health. Read: Leadership
TVM (Mais Jovem Talk Show) reported on 29 July that UNFPA plays an important role in the process of empowerment of girls and women in Mozambique. The host of the popular show, Jorge Ribeiro, mentioned that one of the examples of that role was the support to a female DJ competition held recently in the country. The TV show featured an interview with UNFPA's deputy representative, Astrid Bant. In the interview, Ms. Bant said that the organization supported the Ladies Mix BiZ DJ competition as a way of reaching the girls and providing them with sexual and reproductive health information and life skills. In addition to that, Ms. Bant said, the participants were trained as DJs, a profession still dominated by their male counterparts. Ms. Bant added that the support was part of the Geração Biz Programme, and UNFPA will keep looking for innovative ways of reaching young people and share with them information relevant to their development.
GLOBAL: Science published a special issue on population dynamics on 29 July, which included an editorial by UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin. He wrote, “As the world's population reaches 7 billion this year, we should reflect on the many ways in which population dynamics matter to the planet's future. Population growth patterns are linked to nearly every challenge confronting humanity, including poverty reduction, urban pollution, energy production, food and water scarcity, and health. With world population projected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, these issues and the desire to raise living standards at the same time will create a huge challenge. What immediate actions can be taken to deal with growth while ensuring a sustainable future for all of the world's inhabitants?” Read: Science
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Start published an interview with UNFPA Assistant Representative Faris Hadrovic on 26 July in light of the recent World Population Day. Mr. Hadrovic reflected on world population changes and population changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The role of education of women is very important, especially in countries with high birth rates. Women have access to services thanks to the UN, UNFPA and other organizations concerning issues of contraception, reproductive health, education and family planning," explained Mr. Hadrovic. Population trends in Bosnia and Herzegovina differ from Western European countries. Mr. Hadrovic noted the difference being that “BiH does not substitute its low birthrate with introduction of a new labor force, such as Germany or France do with opening borders for immigrants. We have no such influx and this will present a huge problem in the upcoming years since social expenditures will rise due to an aging population"
BRAZIL: Correio Braziliense reported on 29 July and published a brief interview with UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin as the global population comes close to seven billion, as predicted by the UN and experts published in Science debate whether the Earth is able to accommodate so many people. Dr. Osotimehin remarked on food scarcity, saying, "Often the problem is not production, but availability," he said. He said the current food production is sufficient to meet the needs of all people, and population growth will be followed by a natural evolution in farming techniques. The big challenge has always been dealing with inequality. Today, many regions have too much food, while others struggle with hunger. If nothing is done in the coming decades, inequality tends to be intensified." Read in Portuguese: Correio Braziliense (a) and Correio Braziliense (b)
COSTA RICA: Telenoticias broadcast a series of reports from 26 -28 July on global population growth and the “7 Billion Actions” campaign. "The issue is not only about having a place on the planet, but the footprint we leave on it, the access to services, the quality of life we’ll have, and our neighbors will have," said Patricia Salgado, UNFPA." Read in Spanish: Telenoticias, Telenoticias and Telenoticias. Watch in Spanish: Telenoticias (a), Telenoticias (b), Telenoticias (c), Telenoticias (d) and Telenoticias (e)
Radio Nacional reported on 27 July on global population growth and dynamics, including ageing, and the “7 Billion Actions” campaign. Listen in Spanish: Radio Nacional
JORDAN: Multiple media outlets reported on 26 July that on the occasion of World Population Day, and under the patronage of HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, the “State of Jordan’s Population 2010” was launched for the first time in Jordan. This report was prepared by the Higher Population Council in cooperation with UNFPA. The report is considered to be the first comprehensive report that sheds light the structure, characteristics and historical development of the status of the Jordanian population. The report included population projections at the national and provincial level for the period 2009-2050, which will contribute in determining the future of development policies that leads us to the demographic window and later on, if well invested, to the "demographic bonus.” The launch of the report coincided with the launch of the "7 Billion Actions” campaign. Read: Jordan Times Read in Arabic: Al Rai, Ad Dustour and Al Arab Al Yawm
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY: Multiple media outlets reported on 27 July on a press conference that was organized in the Gaza Strip under the theme “Unleashing the power of women and girls will accelerate progress.” UNFPA Representative Barbara Piazza Georgi opened the conference with a statement that highlighted the challenges and opportunities in a world of seven billion, in addition to explaining the campaign’s objectives and themes. The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics provided an overview of the situation of the Palestinian population in 2011, followed by a statement on the situation of Palestinian women from the Culture and Free Thought Association, a long-standing partner of UNFPA. The conference was closed with an overview on the situation of the population in Gaza, provided by a national demographic expert. Read in Arabic: Ma'an News, Al Quds Net, Safa, Amad, PNN, Aswar Press, Al Sabah, Shehab and Palestine Now
UNITED STATES: Ms. published an op-ed by Suzanne Petroni on 29 July on the upcoming growth of the world population to seven billion, and highlighting the approach to population growth endorsed by the ICPD Programme of Action. She argued, “While the U.S. House vote to defund Planned Parenthood received much media attention earlier this year, similar attempts by House Republicans to defund the United Nations Population Fund have gone largely unnoticed. UNFPA works in some 150 countries, supporting programmes that help women deliver healthy babies and survive delivery, enable couples to determine the number and spacing of their children, reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and end the harmful practice of female genital mutilation. The conservative excuse for defunding Planned Parenthood has been that part of the organization's mission is to provide safe abortions (although not with U.S. funds). But UNFPA, even though it doesn't promote or provide abortions, has still been the subject of a decades-long partisan game of ping-pong. Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has withheld funding for this important agency, while every Democratic president has restored it. Employing the blatantly false pretext that UNFPA supports China's one-child policy and condones abortions and sterilizations, conservative politicians try to score points with their constituents, while the neediest women in the world suffer very real and tragic consequences.” Read: Ms.
Radio Free Europe and Info-Prim Neo reported on 29 July on the launch of the Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Women project implemented by the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) with support of the ORANGE worldwide mobile company /ORANGE Foundation in Moldova and in partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family. The total budget of the UNFPA project in partnership with the private sector is US$105,000: US$80,000 of which was provided by ORANGE, while US$25,000 by the UNFPA. Read in Romanian: Info-Prim Neo and Europa Libera
Gurtong reported on 29 July that with support of the Italian Cooperation UNFPA donated midwifery teaching materials worth $10,000 to the National Health Training Institute in Kajokeji town, south of Juba. Programme specialist of UNFPA South Sudan Kondwani Mwangulube said, “The organization’s goal is to minimize maternal mortality rate in the Republic of South Sudan.” Read: Gurtong
Radio Actual broadcast on 28 July in the programme “Daily Life”, an interview with UNFPA Sexual and Reproductive Health Officer Oscar Valverde on youth and relationships. The half-hour interview covers topics such as linking relationships in adolescence and youth with sexual intercourse. Listen in Spanish: Radio Actual
Multiple media outlets reported on 27 and 28 July that the Brazilian government announced a partnership agreement with UNFPA and the National Youth Inclusion Programme (ProJovem), on youth education and poverty reduction. The agreement was signed in New York by the Brazilian Ambassador to the UN, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti and the UNFPA Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehim. Through the partnership with the UN, the ProJovem model will be taken to other developing countries with similarities to the demographic situation in Brazil. Read in Portuguese: Jornal do Brazil, UOL, Jornal Grande Bahia
The New Times published an op-ed on 28 July by Globia Iribagiza arguing “The principle of gender equality has found more space in several societies over the last two decades and, has begun to underpin all aspects of national development. For this reason, governments, international organizations and the civil society met this week on July 26 to 28, 2011 at the 'High Level Global Meeting' on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting, at Kigali Serena Hotel, Rwanda . . . Besides Rwanda's Government, several partners including UN Women, European Union, DFID, UNFPA, the civil society, academia and several Non-Governmental Organisations participated as a show of support toward improving the process of Gender Responsive Budgeting in the respective countries.” Read: The New Times
The New Times reported on 28 July that UNFPA donated six ambulances and medical equipment worth $387,000 to the Ministry of Health to support the provision of maternal, newborn and reproductive health services. Speaking to reporters after handing over the donation, UNFPA Representative Victoria Akyeampong said that under their sixth country programme of cooperation with Rwanda, the agency is committed to support the country in improving reproductive health. Read: The New Times
Agpgabon.ga reported on 28 July on a sensitization workshop organized by the NGO Conscience for young people, professional sex workers and health workers on behavior change with regard to HIV prevention. The NGO is working with UNFPA towards reducing the AIDS incidence among professional sex workers. It also aims to reduce HIV infection among youth.
La Griffe reported on 28 July on a voluntary HIV counseling and testing event organized by UNFPA, the NGO Femmes Vaillantes du Congo and the National AIDS Committee in a populated suburban area of Brazzaville. At the event, UNFPA Representative David Lawson, NGO leaders and UNAIDS delegate led by example and were tested. UNFPA supported this event to encourage women and young girls disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in Congo to take the test. Indeed, while the national AIDS prevalence rate has been decreasing over the past five years, 75 per cent of Congolese women have never been tested. On the occasion, Mr. Lawson said, "As UNFPA is the UN global leader on HIV prevention and myself as Chair of the UN AIDS Theme Group, we will redouble our efforts with government, civil society and women and girls to break down the feminization of AIDS in Congo and continue to reduce the AIDS prevalence so that we achieve the goal of 0 new infection, 0 discrimination and 0 AIDS-related death."
DRTV, Tele-Congo, Le Journal De Brazza, Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-site reported on 28 July on the premiere in Congo of the UNFPA documentary film entitled "Mouato: The Life of Indigenous Women in Congo" on national television in the presence of the State Justice Minister, Social Affairs Minister, Communication Minister, parliamentarians, ambassadors, UN representatives, indigenous and civil society representatives. Presenting the movie in Brazzaville, UNFPA Representative David Lawson said, "This movie honours indigenous women and highlights the challenges they face. With standardization in the context of globalization, the film aims at helping indigenous peoples to be recognized equal and different altogether, national citizens and indigenous peoples at the same time, integrated but not assimilated, in a pluralist democracy preserving unity in diversity." Watch in French: DRTV Read in French: Congo-Site, Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Journal de Brazza
The Huffington Post (United States) published a blog by UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin on 28 July. He wrote, “A few days ago, I took part in the World YWCA's fourth International Women's Summit in Zurich, Switzerland, where people from more than 100 countries gathered to discuss issues facing girls and women. Under the theme "Women creating a safe world" we focused on gender inequality, young women's right to sexual and reproductive health, and how to end violence against women. The Summit reinforced my belief that adolescent girls and young women can create a safer world -- if we invest in their well-being today and empower them to be the leaders of tomorrow.” Read: The Huffington Post
CNN reported on 27 July that calling it "debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning members of the House of Representatives that she "will recommend personally" that President Barack Obama veto a bill pending in the House that would severely restrict State Department operations, international organizations and foreign assistance. Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, calls the bill's ban on funding for the United Nations Population Fund and attempt to reinstate the so-called "global gag rule," as Lowey and other opponents of the Mexico City Policy call it, an example of "outrageous, divisive policies." Read: CNN
RH Reality Check published a blog by Tamara Kreinen of the UN Foundation on 27 July arguing “By voting to reduce funding for international reproductive health and family planning activities, eliminate funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and reinstate the Global Gag Rule, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes threatens to turn back the clock on women’s health and has taken its disturbing war on women to a global stage. Investing in international family planning maximizes the impact of our foreign aid dollars and is critical to the health of women and their families around the world. The subcommittee’s plan to reduce funding of international reproductive health activities would undermine our strategic international development goals and would be detrimental to the health of women and newborns. When women are healthy and empowered, they can spark a ripple effect in their families, communities, and nations that can lead to lower rates of poverty and stronger economic growth and productivity. With its short-sighted decision to cut UNFPA funding, the subcommittee is crippling its best ally in promoting healthier families, prosperous and stable societies, environmental sustainability, and resource and food security across the globe.” Read: RH Reality Check
The Hill reported on 26 July that the House Appropriations Committee released a 2012 spending bill that slashes State Department funding and foreign aid. The bill also prohibits funding for the U.N. Population Fund, as well as needle-exchange programmes. “It is unacceptable that the majority proposes to reinstate the Global Gag Rule, which prohibits recipients of U.S. health assistance from providing the most truthful and comprehensive healthcare possible to women in need,” subcommittee ranking member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in reaction. Read: The Hill
La Prensa reported on 27 July that Siuna hosted the second territorial festival in 2011 coordinated by the Programa Voz Joven (“Young Voice) with the support of the Association of Municipalities of Nicaragua and the sponsorship of UNFPA and the Embassy of the Netherlands and Finland. Youth and adolescents held a contest of communication, singing, painting, dancing and presenting a theater play, said Tania Green, coordinator of the Youth Programme in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN). Read in Spanish: La Prensa
Multiple media outlets on 27 July that Anna Komorowska, the First Lady of Poland, visited the National Screening Center‘s branch named after Maria Kaczyńska in Tbilisi supported by UNFPA and the Municipality of Tbilisi. The Polish guest was hosted by Maka Metreveli, spouse of the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Rema Gvamichava, Head of the Screening Center, and Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA’s Assistant Representative. Ms. Komorowska got acquainted with the cancer screening project being implemented by the National Screening Centre and was introduced to the methods of screening and treatment. The First Lady of Poland met with the members of the cancer survivors’ group, supported by the Embassy of Poland since 2009. "It is significant that such a type of Screening Centre exists, with the help of which it became possible to save many human lives. The National Screening Centre was established with the great effort of the First Lady of Georgia Sandra Roelofs and it goes without saying that it is of great importance that today, the wife of the President of Poland is visiting it” - said Maka Metreveli, spouse of the Chairman of Parliament of Georgia. Read: 24 Watch in Georgian: Moanbe and Rustavi
IRIN reported on 27 July that health workers say an apparent rise in contraceptive use in Nigeria stems largely from a willingness by traditional and religious leaders in some regions to use their influence in promoting reproductive health. In the predominantly Muslim north, where contraceptive use has historically been far lower than the national average, the support of traditional leaders has helped change attitudes in communities where contraception was long regarded as taboo. Alhaji Sani Umar, district head of Gagi District, Sokoto State, in northwestern Nigeria, works with UNFPA to advocate for reproductive health in his community. Read: IRIN
Daily Times reported on 27 July that the UNFPA country office in Malawi sponsored an obstetric fistula camp at Zomba Central Hospital in Malawi this year where the vast majority of the 103 patients were from rural areas, with poor educational backgrounds. Veronica-Kamanga-Njikho, UNFPA Malawi gender officer was quoted saying that for every 100 women in Malawi, 50 of them got married before they reached the age of 18. In contrast, only seven out of 100 males got married before they reached 18. “For cultural and economic reasons, many women are unable to negotiate the timing and conditions under which sex occurs, particularly on the use of condoms, whether male or female,” she said.
ogooueinfos.com reported on 27 July on a donation by UNFPA Deputy Country Director Mariama Darboe Diop, of 4 million male condoms and 40,000 female condoms to Gabonese authorities. The main purpose of the donation is to enhance the national AIDS prevention efforts led by the government. The national AIDS prevalence rate is at 5.2 per cent in Gabon. Read in French:
UYpress reported on 26 July that education and health authorities from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico gathered in Montevideo to share experiences to promote youth awareness on HIV. This workshop on “Harmonization of Public Policies for Sexuality Education, HIV/AIDS prevention and drugs in Educative Environments” is part of a horizontal cooperation project launched in 2007, which is been supported by several cooperation institutions, including GTZ, CICT, UNESCO and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: UYPress
FM Bolivia reported on 26 July that Bolivians living in Argentina become mothers at younger ages and have higher fertility than Argentinean women. This information was among the findings included in the report "Health and International Migration: Bolivian Women in Argentina," by sociologist Marcela Cerruti as part of a project on maternal health in Argentina led by UNFPA. Read in Spanish: FM Bolivia
The Daily Times reported on 26 July that the Department of Youth Affairs, Sindh and UNFPA coordinated a round table youth discussion on 28 July. Read: The Daily Times