The Government of Finland and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Somalia today signed an agreement under which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has provided a grant of two million Euro in support of UNFPA’s overall goal of improving the wellbeing of Somali people, particularly women, girls and young people.
The contribution is part of a broader arrangement under which Finland will co-finance UNFPA's new Country Programme for Somalia with an additional eight million Euro during the period 2017-2020.
Finland’s contribution will enable UNFPA to continue working towards achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health, realizing reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality, improving the lives of adolescents, youth and women enabled by population dynamics, human rights, and gender equality.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights are a priority in Finland’s development cooperation. “Fragile environment and lack of services affect severely the most vulnerable groups of the society. Often women and girls are particularly at risk. UNFPA’s important work in this regard matches the key interest of Finland - to support Somalia’s efforts to improve women’s and girls’ rights,” said the Ambassador of Finland, Ms.Tarja Fernández.
The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, said the funding from Finland is fundamental in contributing to Somalia’s social and human development, particularly in the National Development Plan areas of health, youth, gender and resilience capacity building.
“We are enormously grateful to the Government of Finland for this 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 Mr. Botev.
Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to supporting increased availability and use of integrated sexual and reproductive health services, including birth spacing, maternal health and HIV, that are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access.