Several media outlets published on 12-18 August two articles written by young women. These articles were published in the context of International Youth Day. To mark the day, UNFPA Lebanon asked young people involved in UNFPA-supported advocacy projects run and targeting youth, to write about the reason behind their involvement in civil society and how they perceive the challenges of their communities as well as possible solutions. UNFPA selected two articles from the submissions. The first one, “Above the Clouds” is a breathtaking testimonial of a 21-year old young woman from Saida who refused to quit school for an arranged early marriage, whose brothers are drug addicts and violent, and who is now a university student and an activist in NGOs. The second article, “We have solutions, Hope you’ll Listen,” describes a 21-year old Iraqi woman refugee’s perception of the main problems affecting communities in refugees camps in Lebanon, notably housing and education. The author also provides her opinion on how young refugees themselves could help. Read in Arabic: Al Jaras, Al Hayat 1, Al Hayat 2, Al Hayat 3, Sauress
Various media outlets on 12 August reported that UNFPA Georgia with its partners – Georgia’s First Lady’s healthy lifestyle initiative “Don’t Worry, Be Healthy,” Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Employment Agency of Adjara, Municipality of Batumi, Batumi State University, Caucasus Social Marketing Association, and Georgian Youth Development and Education Association - organized a series of events to celebrate the International Youth Day in Batumi, Georgia.
Students and youth took part in sports and cultural activities organized on Batumi Boulevard. Each planned event corresponded to the priorities topics: Youth for poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS prevention and healthy lifestyle, gender equality and peace.
The students and groups of young activists organized the posters exhibit on domestic violence, the painting contest, the biking marathon, three flash-mobs, the beach football competition, safe behaviour, anti-tobacco, alcohol and drugs campaigns, etc. Peer-educators distributed thematic brochures and fliers amongst the holidaymakers and locals in the streets of Batumi throughout the day. Besides the street events, the students held an information session on employments and professional growth at the Employment Agency of Ajara. At the end of International Youth Day the winners of the contests were awarded by Ms. Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA/Georgia Assistant Representative and the Vice Mayor of Batumi with the prizes. The culmination of International Youth Day was celebrated by blowing up candle balloons symbolizing remembrance of the victims of wars and youth willingness to build peace. Read in Georgian: New Georgia Watch in Georgian: Ajara TV and My Video
Khaama Press on 12 August and Pajhwok Afghan News on 11 August reported that the Ministry of Public Health, with financial and technical support from UNFPA and its implementing partner, Afghan Family Guidance Association (AFGA), established a phone line to provide youth friendly health information including reproductive health, counseling, and referrals to appropriate services or resources.
The Daily News and the UB Post published on 12 August UNFPA Executive Director's statement on International Youth Day.
The New Vision on 11 August reported that UNFPA Representative Janet Jackson spoke at the opening of the East Africa Regional Youth Conference in Kampala and is quoted saying, "“If the number of children in a country grows faster than the possibility to provide for the young generation with necessary schools, health institutions or food, protection and the ability to give meaningful jobs to the young people, the situation of the entire country deteriorates." She urged investment in young people through education, provision of employable and entrepreneurial skills, provision of sexual reproductive health information and services and creating equal opportunities for both girls and boys. Read in English: The New Vision
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 11 August on the celebration of International Day of Indigenous People by the Justice Ministry and UNFPA in the Northern province of Sangha where there's a strong concentration of indigenous peoples. Using the theme of the celebration this year, "Indigenous Medias: for Indigenous Peoples Voice to be Heard," UNFPA Representative David Lawson and a delegation of local elected officials, parliamentarians, government officials, indigenous peoples and the private sector celebrated a local radio and TV network dedicated to indigenous peoples. Supported by a joint public-private partnership, Mr. Lawson said, "UNFPA will support these media to help indigenous rights to be known by indigenous peoples themselves, but also facilitate sensitization on women's and youth reproductive health, HIV and sexual violence prevention." UNFPA awarded prizes to local journalists, while radio sets were distributed to a hundred indigenous women. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
New Vision on 11 August reported that UNFPA Country Representative Janet Jackson is worried about the high population growth in the East African Community region saying that this is a threat to the stability of the states. "If the number of children in a country grows faster than the possibility to provide for the young generation with necessary schools, health institutions or food, protection and the ability to give meaningful jobs to the young people, the situation of the entire country deteriorates," she said.
The National Communications Network 6 O'Clock News on 11 August broadcast a news clips of a high level discussion between Parliamentarians and young people on policy issues affecting youth. The engagement was entitled Conversation with Young Parliamentarians and was held in observance of International Youth Day 2012. The Guyana Branch Office facilitated the discussion. Watch in English: NCN
Rádio Moçambique, TVM and TV Miramar reported on 10 August, that UNFPA, UNICEF and the WHO supported the training of 23 general medical doctors in forensic medicine. According to all reports, after the training, the medical doctors will be in position to better assist the victims of sexual violence in the country. Ms. Bettina Maas, UNFPA Representative, said on the behalf of the UN system in Mozambique, that the UN supported the training as part of its efforts to end violence.
L’Essor reported on 10 August that UNFPA donated an important set of medical equipment and two ambulances, worth over 200 million FCFA, to the Malian government. The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Health Soumana Makadji, in the presence of UNFPA Representative Mr. Makane Kane. For the Minister of Health, this donation is evidence of the successful partnership that has always characterized the relationship between UNFPA and the Malian government.
The UNFPA Representative, stated in his speech, that this donation, consisting of reproductive health kits, dignity kits and two ambulances, will provide stronger health services to displaced populations. He added that his organization will provide transportation of this donated equipment to beneficiaries identified in affected regions. The ceremony was followed by the inauguration of the central warehouse of the Drug and Pharmacy Directorate, which was renovated by UNFPA early this year. Read in French: L'Essor
El Heraldo on 10 August reported on celebrations for International Youth Day. The Youth Festival was attended by about 3,000 adolescents and was supported by UNFPA. Read in Spanish: El Heraldo
The Daily Trust on 10 August reported on the appointment of Mrs. Victoria Afua Akyeampong, a Ghanaian, as Nigeria's UNFPA country representative. Read in English: The Daily Trust
Multiple media outlets reported on 9 August on the press conference organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sport, UNFPA, OSCE and National Youth Council of Moldova in celebration of the International Youth Day. The press conference emphasized the need for opportunities for youth. UNFPA Assistant Representative Mr. Boris Gilca is quoted in several pieces. Read in Romanian: Basa Press, Adevarul, Privesc Read in English: Basa Press and Info-Prim Neo
Several media outlets reported on 9 August on the launching of two studies on sexual and reproductive health among Lebanese army soldiers. This launching event was organized by the Lebanon Family Planning Association and UNFPA Lebanon on the occasion of World Population Day and of National Army Day. The launching event was held in the Central Military Academy and attended by high level officials from the military, government, academia, medical associations, UN, embassies, NGOs and media.
The studies are the result of collaboration between UNFPA and the Lebanon Family Planning Association and were conducted with the technical support of the Lebanese Health Association. The first one consisted of “Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practices of Lebanese Army Soldiers Regarding RH, STI/HIV/AIDS” whereas the second one consisted of an “Assessment of Women’s Satisfaction with RH Services in Health Facilities of The Lebanese Army” and aimed at assessing the quality of services such as contraceptive methods, pre- and post-natal care, health awareness, RTI/STI/HIV/AIDS prevention, in addition to assessing the condition of the health facility and its personnel. By raising a number of relevant and important issues and by formulating a series of recommendations, these studies provide the necessary baseline information on various RH aspects within the Army institution, a matter the UNFPA CO and its partners shall pursue by advocating for the incorporation of SRH/HIV/AIDS education in the formal army curricula. Read in Arabic: National News Agency, Al Markazia, National News Agency 2, Lebanese Army Portal, Sidonia, National News Agency 3
Burkina Faso: Pupils and students in schools of demography
Sidwaya on 9 August published an article on the campaign for greater ownership of issues of population and development in schools. The campaign, organized by the National Youth Council with UNFPA support, has already been established in seven regions of Burkina and aims to inform young people about the country's growing population. Ali Kone, who attended the meeting on behalf of UNFPA, said that youth are an important part of UNFPA programmes.
Popular News Journal on 9 August reported that to deal with a critical need for reproductive health services, mobile and static clinics providing antenatal, family planning and reproductive health care have been opened for all temporary camps in the Rakhine state. The services provided by static clinics and mobile clinics are antenatal care, vitamins for pregnant mothers, swaddle cloth for babies, disposable clean delivery kits, contraceptives, referral to specialists in case of emergency during delivery, and fund support for those who need operative delivery.
The project is jointly organized by MMA, DOH and UNFPA and the static and mobile clinics are set up in Sittwe and Rathedaung townships. The project started on 18 June and will continue until the end of September. If needed after that, the project will reopen.
Concord Times on 9 August reported on the end of a three-day Mid-Term Review Meeting and Training of Implementing Partners (IPs) held by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development MoFED, in collaboration with UNFPA. UNFPA Assistant Country Representative, Mariama Diarra-Sesay, said UNFPA believes that such training was crucial and important in enhancing the capacity building process of IPs. "She briefed participants on UNFPA's Business Plan (2012-2013) underscoring that population dynamics focuses on achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, reduction of maternal mortality and accelerating progress on the ICPD agenda and MDGs respectively."
Concord Times on 9 August reported on the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Action Group on Population and Development which has been funded and supported by the UNFPA for the past five years and has been facilitating parliament in nation-building. The advocacy centre in parliament has contributed in the area of capacity building through training programmes on gender equality, gender population, reproductive health, youth programmes, human rights concepts, and HIV/AIDS.
M-zine on 9 August published an article on birth spacing and the the issue of choice. The eight-page spread included a section on UNFPA's role in family planning saying that, "over the past 30 years, the UNFPA has supported reproductive health programmes in Myanmar and has been the main supplier of contraceptives to the country." UNFPA representative Abdel-Ahad is quoted in the piece.
The Guardian on 9 August reported on the London Family Planning Summit. "The summit, sponsored by the British government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), focused attention on the ongoing lack of family planning services for millions of women in the developing world and garnered extraordinary global support and resources to enable 120 million more women to use contraceptives by 2020." Read in English: The Guardian
OEM Hidalgo reported on 8 August that Mexico ranks eighth in the world and first in Latin America in countries with the highest number of indigenous population. The population living in indigenous households in the country reaches nearly 10 million people, representing about 10 percent of the total population. Hence the importance of the implementation of the project “Integral attention in reproductive health and family violence with indigenous communities in highly marginalized municipalities in Mexico” led by the United Nations Population Fund, National Population Council and the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health from the Ministry of Health. Read in Spanish: OEM
AL-Thawrah on 8 August published a one-page interview with UNFPA Yemen Representative Marc Vandenberghe. The interview centered on UNFPA’s new CPAP for 2012-2015 and UNFPA’s different interventions in Yemen regarding reducing maternal mortality and enhancing eproductive health sevices.
Read in Arabic: AL-Thawrah
All local newspapers, Petra News Agency and The Levant Post reported on 7 August that UNFPA Jordan has established, in cooperation with specialized NGOs, female clinics in Cyber City, Al-Za’tari and KAP. Female gynecologists and midwives have been hired to work at the clinics. The increase of Syrians entering Jordan has increased demand on reproductive health services in the north.
UNFPA Jordan has also established counseling clinics in Cyber City, KAP, and in Al-Za’tari camp, to provide phsyco-social support in addition to awareness sessions for women on different issues focusing on reproductive health, family planning and gender-based violence. Read in Arabic: Al Rai, Alarabalyawm, Jordan Times, Petra News Agency and The Levant Post.
L'Union on 6 and 7 August reported in both its editions about the baseline data collection exercise currently underway in two priority provinces, Ogooue Ivindo and Wolem Ntem, within the framework of the UNFPA/GABON Country Programme Action Plan 2012- 2016. The two northern provinces were selected based on an EMONC study which revealed very poor social and maternal health indicators in these provinces. The paper quoted UNFPA Deputy Country Director Ms. Mariama Darboe Diop saying that the data collection, which is being conducted by two national consultants, will help fill the gap in baseline data for monitoring and evaluation of the country programme. Ms Darboe Diop, who was on a field visit in the two provinces to monitor the data collection exercise, met with and informed the various stakeholders including local authorities, medical personnel, youth groups and community leaders. She was quoted as saying that the 6th country programme would strive to strengthen health structures through policy advocacy, training of midwives, maternal equipment availability, reproductive commodities security and through support to social and community mobilization efforts.
Qualitative data is also being collected on gender–based violence indicators. Ms. Darboe Diop affirmed that the Gabon–UNFPA 6th Country programme will strengthen existing mechanisms and tools and help create new ones to inform, educate and empower women and communities against gender-based violence.
BelTA wrote on 6 August that making hormonal contraceptives prescriptive drugs is, theoretically, positive. It’s an opinion of Victoria Sakevich, Senior Researcher of the Institute of Demography of the Research Institute of Higher Institute of Economics of the Russian Federation. Ms. Sakevich believes that it’s important to improve the knowledge of obstetricians, to hold information and advocacy campaigns on family planning and to develop sexual education. The author refers to the resource center of UNFPA in Belarus. Read in Russian: belta.by.
Xinhua General News Service on 6 August reported on the rise in gender-based violence in Fiji. Dirk Jena, director of the sub-regional office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), while addressing a gender-based violence workshop said that during emergencies, gender violence often goes untreated. Reports show that women and children are not always safe in evacuation centres, where they seek refuge during natural disasters, and as a result of hardships from natural disasters, families often force young girls into early marriages.
The Informer on 6 August reported on UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin’s visit with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry Office. The two reviewed several issues including maternal mortality, gender-based violence, the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons for a post-2015 development agenda and more.
The Jakarta Post reported on 6 August that few ASEAN countries have reliable statistical data on the prevalence of violence against women although the 2004 ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women underscored the need for reliable statistics both to assess the prevalence of the social problem and to continually monitor changes.
The article quoted UNFPA Representative for Indonesia Jose Ferraris that such statistics were important to inform and guide the development of national legislation, policies and programmes that could prevent violence against women and protect survivors as well.
Without timely and accurate indicators, it is impossible to track progress or provide information that compels policy makers to act toward the elimination of violence against women, Mr. Ferraris was quoted saying. The comments were made at a press conference during a workshop on “Strengthening National Capacities to Collect Violence Against Women Statistics in the ASEAN Region” jointly held by the Women Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, ASEAN Secretariat and the UNFPA in Jakarta from 6-9 August. Read in English: Jakarta Post