Under the fourth country programme, the United Nations Population Fund will invest 82 USD million in the next five years
Kabul, 8 February 2015 - The Ministry of Economy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, signed today the new five-year plan of the organization to promote reproductive health, youth empowerment, gender equality and the access and use of accurate data in the country.
Through this new country programme, UNFPA will invest in Afghanistan 82 USD million supporting the Government in the achievement of seven major objectives: improve the delivery of quality family planning services; increase the availability of maternal health services in underserved populations and humanitarian settings; incorporate the rights and needs of youth in national development policies and programmes and increase availability of family life education; strengthen capacity of the health sector and law-enforcement bodies to respond to gender-based violence, with a special focus on child marriage; increase availability on reliable population data; and strengthen the capacity of government counterparts, parliamentarians and academic institutions in data utilization for policy development.
"The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is pleased to renew its partnership with UNFPA through the presentation of this fourth country programme," said Mr Habibi during his opening remarks. "The commitment to the objectives highlighted in this plan has been established in a participatory and consultative process under the leadership of the Afghan Government and involving key sectors and civil society organizations. We believe that the implementation of this programme has the potential to positively transform Afghan society and drive economic and social development in the years to come."
Key partners of the organization to achieve the objectives outlined in the plan will be the the Ministry of Public Health, the Central Statistics Organization, the Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, the National Police Academy, the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Agency, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Kabul University. The commitment of the UN agency towards the promotion of maternal and reproductive health, gender equality, youth empowerment and access to reliable population data in Afghanistan was also highlighted by Hukum Khan Habibi, Acting Minister of Economy.
"UNFPA is proud to present this new country programme, tailored to the needs of Afghan people and aligned to Afghanistan's national priorities," said Dr Annette Sachs Robertson, UNFPA Representative for Afghanistan. "UNFPA first began working in Afghanistan in 1976. Since then we have provided support to the Ministry of Public Health to develop the current National Reproductive Health Policy and Strategy and support to the Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs to develop the first-ever National Youth Policy. We have supported maternal health care in the most remote communities through 80 Family Health Houses. UNFPA has supported the MOPH to attend to gender-based violence survivors through the establishment of six Family Protection Centres and supported the Central Statistics Office for socio-demographic and economic surveys in six provinces."
"We are honoured to renew today our partnership with the Government and continue our work to deliver an Afghanistan where every pregnancy is wanted, every delivery is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled," stated Robertson.
UNFPA will continue to support national capacity building to provide reproductive and maternal health services especially in remote areas; undertake youth advocacy and promote adolescent health; support institutional capacity building for the prevention and treatment of gender based violence; and develop national capacity for data collection, analysis and use for national policy and subnational programming.
Among the civil society, UNFPA will continue its partnership with relevant institutions such as the Afghanistan Midwifery Association, the Afghan Society of Obstetrician and Gynecologists and other significant implementing partners.
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About UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund
UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled.
UNFPA expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives.
Since UNFPA started working in 1969, the number - and rate - of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved. Families are smaller and healthier. Young people are more connected and empowered than ever before.