UNFPA secures 8.5 mln USD to improve maternal health in Somalia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-20 01:31:47|Editor: yan
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MOGADISHU, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said Wednesday it has secured 8.5 million U.S. dollars from Sweden to accelerate high impact reproductive, maternal, new-born and adolescent health interventions in Somalia.

The UNFPA Representative Nikolai Botev said the funding comes at a critical moment when the UN agency is reaffirming its efforts to working towards achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health, realizing reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality, and improving the lives of adolescents, youth and women.

"The grant from Sweden is another expression of strong confidence in the work that UNFPA is undertaking towards the betterment of the lives of the people of Somalia," Botev said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He said the funding from Sweden is fundamental in contributing to Somalia's social and human development, particularly in the National Development Plan areas of health, youth, gender, resilience and capacity building in pursuit of the common goal of a better and healthier Somalia for all.

"We are enormously grateful for the Swedish contribution. It comes at a critical time and will be vital in helping the many Somali people, especially women and young people, whose lives have already been so traumatically disrupted by a number of adverse conditions, including the current drought," said Botev.

Botev reiterated UNFPA's commitment to supporting increased availability and use of integrated maternal and new-born health services that are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access.

Millions of women in Somalia remain at great risk during pregnancy and childbirth.

Every year, one in 22 women dies prematurely due to pregnancy or childbirth related complications.

Most of these complications and illnesses are easily preventable and treatable. Strong political will and long-term financial commitment is urgently needed to address the high rate of maternal deaths.