UNFPA, ICDP Celebrate Decades Of Landmark Achievement In Nigeria

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 Joel Ajayi

The modest contribution of the United Nation Population Fund UNFPA and International Conference on Population and Development ICPD toward the improvement made in the sexual and reproductive health and the rights of every woman since 1969 in the country cannot be swept under carpet.

These agencies have indeed in the past years have thrown their weight behind the good health of Nigeria’s women, girls in the world to ensure they leave a meaningful life.

 

UNFPA established in 1969 is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency with the mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

While the Program of Action of the ICPD was birth in 1994 with the aim of making couples and individuals have the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so.

Since its creation, UNFPA has indeed led a multinational effort to help women in developing countries navigate through an ever-changing landscape of barriers to their reproductive rights.

This effort gained momentum and inspiration in 1994, when 179 governments gathered in Cairo Egypt for International Conference on Population and Development ICPD and forged a plan for sustainable development grounded in individual right and choices and the achievement of sexual and reproductive health for all.

 

That plan embodied in a programme of action, not only re-energized the global reproductive rights movement but also positioned UNFPA as the movement’s custodian.

However, the combined actions of civil society, governments, development institutions and UNFPA over the past 50 years have unlocked opportunities and possibilities for women and the girl across the globe.

The report assesses the successes, challenges, and opportunities that the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has offered for advancing and strengthening accountability on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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Celebrating 50 years of successful growth and an enduring contribution to Nigeria’s health sector as the world’s biggest agency.

 

As matter of the fact, in 1969 fertility rates worldwide was about to double what they are today. In the least developed countries, fertility was about six births per women.

 

It was in this context that UNFPA was established to advise developing countries about social and economic implications of population growth and support National Population Programmes, which began dispensing of contraceptives on an unprecedented scale.

 

Through these programme, the reproductive choice became a real reality for more and more women in developing countries. And as a result, women started having fewer children. Millions were finally gaining the power to control their own fertility.

 

Indeed, this year  marked 50th anniversary of UNFPA, which offers a unique opportunity for the agency in the country to reflect and showcase its progress as well as to re-commit and forge new partnerships towards the realization of the dream of ICPD’s Unfinished Business, which has remained a distant dream for millions of women and girls, men and boys, the world over including Nigeria.

 

Without doubt, activists, advocates, public health specialists, and many others have pushed relentlessly for the transformations, we see around us today but much remains to be done.

 

Among the achievements so far include; UNFPA responding in emergencies, building resilience, responding to sexual violence, global combats on migrants and refugees, setting the standard for reproductive health care, developing a response grounded in right and choices as well as the fundamental empowerment and equality.

 

With these achivenment, the agency in Nigeria have lined up a lot of activities to celebrate unprecedented achievements in Nigeria.

Today, Nigeria celebrates UNFPA @ 50 as ICDP @25 with their head high.

 

In a world press briefing to heralded the celebration in Abuja, the Media & Communication Specialist United Nations Population Fund Country Office – Abuja, Nigeria Ms. Lori Habib said that agency will not relent toward her effort to ensure it raises the health of every women and children to ensure they leave a meaningful life.

 

Speaking also, the Representative of UNFPA Dr. Eugene Kongnyuy said despite the numerous achievements, the agency is more committed  than before to assist and help women to enjoy the right to give birth safely.

 

He expressed that, the UNPFA for years has been consistently responsive to the promotion of gender equality, improved status of women and ensure the dignity of women development as well as humanitarian setting.

 

 

He lamented that though over 200 million women still don’t have access to a safe and reliable family planning method while 214 million women who want to prevent a pregnancy not using the modern method of contraception.

 

“World Population has grown from 3.6billion in 1969 to 7.7billion in 2019 and Nigeria from 140.4 million in 2006 to 198 million in 2018. Worldwide 800 women die from preventable cause during pregnancy childbirth every day while 111die daily during birth in Nigeria.

 

“While total the fertility rate is still very high in many developing countries.”

Despite these advances, there were still gaps to be filled as to enable all women and girls to have the power and  the means to govern their own bodies and make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.”

He equally charged government at all levels not to relent in their effort to address population and sustainable development issues putting the needs and aspirations of individual human beings at the center of sustainable development.

 

“As a key stakeholder in the quest for a world where no woman should die giving life and a world where every young person’s potential is fulfilled, with no one left behind.”

Also, at one of the activities to celebrate UNFPA at 50 and ICDP at 25 the luncheon for member of diplomatic communities and donors Permanent Secretary to the ministry of budget  Mr. Earnest Omahiehe represented by the director of international cooperation Mrs. Elizebeth Egharevba said that the achievement of UNFPA in Nigeria enormous and charged them not to relent to ensure their goal is achieve.

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