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UNFPA IN THE NEWS —JUNE 25-JULY 8, 2007

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE ON HIV/AIDS

Xinhua General News Service reported June 28 that about 2,000 delegates from over 90 countries worldwide are due to meet in Kenya for an international conference on HIV/AIDS. The World Fellowship Committee (World YWCA) President Monica Zetzsche told journalists in Nairobi that the conference  will mobilize urgent responses to the rising HIV infection rates among women and girls. The summit is co-convened with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, and has the support of the UNAIDS Global Coalition on Women and AIDS and UNFPA. 

The Nation reported July 6 that delegates at an international meeting have dismissed claims that women do not like the female condom. The story identified organizations such as the WHO, UNFPA, Population Services International and Family Health International that work closely with governments to provide the female condom in various countries at a reduced cost. Read: The Nation

BuaNews reported July 6 that South Africa’s Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is scheduled to address the UNFPA-sponsored international women's conference on the impact of HIV/AIDS. Read: BuaNews

WORLD POPULATION DAY

Fiji: Fiji Times reported July 7 on a meeting on “Men as Partners in Reproductive Health.” UNFPA Representative Najib Assifi said the forum was a training of trainers. The three stakeholders included the Fiji Employees Federation, Fiji Trades Union Congress and the UNFPA. The project covered Fiji and the Solomon Islands and was managed by the International Labor Organization. ILO director Abu Zakaria said men often held decision-making power over matters as basic as sexual relations and when and whether to have a child or even seek health care. Read: Fiji Times

Uzbekistan: UzReport reported July 6 that UNFPA, in cooperation with its national partners – Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Women's Committee of Uzbekistan circulated U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s World Population Day message. Read: UzReport

Vietnam: Vietnam News Service reported July 6 that ahead of World Population Day on July 11, UNFPA called on Vietnamese men to recognize and act responsibly to ensure safe sexual relations, respect and care for pregnant women, share parenting duties and educate their children. With the theme “Men as Partners in Maternal Health,” UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam, Ian Howie, called on all the country’s men to make a personal and political commitment to use their power for positive change. “Vietnam has recognized the importance of involving men in reproductive health and family planning programs. Men are encouraged to participate in family life, as expressed in the Vietnam Family strategy 2005-10 and the Law on Gender Equality," he said. Read: Vietnam News Service

Yemen: Yemen News Agency reported July 5 that UNFPA is organizing a speech festival at Aden University to coincide with the July 11 World Population Day under the title: "Men are Partners in Reproductive Health." Read: Yemen News Agency

LANCET PUBLISHES MOST RECENT STUDY ON HPV

Agence France-Presse reported June 27 on a recent report published in The Lancet on a new vaccine that protects nine out of ten women against cervical cancer linked to two strains of the deadly human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV types 16 and 18 account for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases worldwide, which number about 500,000 per year, according UNFPA. If left untreated, invasive cervical cancer is almost always fatal. Read: Agence France-Presse

ALBANIA: U.N. Reform Piloted

The Christian Science Monitor reported July 1 that the "One UN" project, a bold attempt to reform the institutional culture of the United Nations, is part of the pilot program to coordinate UNICEF, WHO, WHO, UNHCR, UNDP’s efforts in Albania and other regions. Read: The Christian Science Monitor

ANGOLA: Support for Survival and Development of Children Program

Angola Press Agency reported July 6 that the Angolan Health Ministry gave Kuito District, central Bie Province, some transportation means, equipment and essential medicine to the local government, involving the Accelerated Action Plan for the Survival and Development of Children. The program is supported by UNFPA and the WHO and will initially be implemented in 16 districts in Luanda, Moxico, Huíla, Cunene and Bié provinces. Read: Angola Press Agency

AZERBAIJAN: Workshop on Gender and Islam

APA reported July 4 that the State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Problems along with UNFPA and Western University’s Gender Research Center held a workshop on the project “Gender equality in Islam.” Read: APA

BANGLADESH: Government Official Underscored Need for Family Planning

Xinhua General News Service reported July 5 that a meeting between UNFPA Country Representative Arthur Erken, Bangladeshi Adviser for Health and Family Welfare, Water Resources and Religious Affairs, Matiur Rahman, underscored the need for increasing the use of permanent methods of family planning to manage the population in the country. Rahman praised the UNFPA's continuous supports in different fields including population plan and improvement of reproductive health in Bangladesh. Read: Xinhua General News Service

BENIN: UNFPA Supports Local Military Hospital

La Nation reported July 4 that UNFPA has donated equipments, materials and medications to a military hospital in Benin. With UNFPA support this hospital reinforces its technical capacity and becomes the center of emergency obstetrical and prenatal care in Benin, said a spokesman for the hospital.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Second Annual “Welcoming Maternity” Competition Held

Abidjan.net reported June 28 that National Program for Reproductive Health and Family Planning organized the second annual competition called, “Welcoming Maternity” with support from local Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene and UNFPA. The competition aims to improve the quality of health assistance in Cote d’Ivoire.

COTE D’IVOIRE: New Health Centre Inaugurated

Abidjan.net reported on July 2 that the City Hall of Port-Bouet in Abidjan inaugurated on June 28 a new health centre in the Derriere Wharf community. This project was financed by the government of France and implemented in cooperation with local actors including UNFPA. Read: Abidjan.net: June 28, July 2

COTE D’IVOIRE: Educating Parliamentarians on Population and Development

Fraternité Matin reported on June 29 that a Parliamentarian Network on Population and Development together with UNFPA organized an awareness-raising campaign for local parliamentarians on population and development issues. Read: Fraternité Matin

FIJI: First in the Pacific to Use Jadelle Implant

The Solomon Star’s June 28 story quoted a press release by the UNFPA Pacific Office of Fiji being the first country in the Pacific to start training on the use of Jadelle contraceptive which is soon to be available in other Pacific Island countries.

INDIA: Workshop on Contraceptive Updates

The Hindu reported June 30 that Assistant District Medical Officers for family welfare, district public health nurses and gynecologists from 10 districts of south Orissa participated in a workshop on contraceptive technology updates. It was sponsored by UNFPA and State Health and Family Welfare Department. Read: The Hindu

INDONESIA: Ulemas to Disseminate Reproductive Health Information

Jakarta Post reported July 3 that the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN) is drafting a handbook, "Reproductive Health Information, Education and Communication for Ulemas," for Muslim leaders to guide them in disseminating the government's family planning program to the people. In drafting the handbook, the BKKBN is collaborating with UNFPA, the Religious Affairs Ministry and several Muslim organizations including the Indonesian Council of Mosques, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah. UNFPA Representative Zaidul Huque said, "Indonesia has been on the right track in involving religious leaders in the family planning program, and we acknowledge that support from the leaders in the country has gone through a long process of discussion among the ulemas, the government and other community leaders including NGOs.”

JAMAICA: Photo Contest Winner

Jamaica Gleaner reported July 2 that Tristan Rodney of Clarendon College won the top prize at the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation Youth Zoom Photography Awards. Tristan's photo captured two elderly women sitting on the doorstep of their home, and was titled poverty. He received a special award from UNFPA, the award for best photograph, best composition, and best technical quality. Read: Jamaica Gleaner

KENYA: MTV HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign to Bring Film Contest

The Sun Newspaper reported June 30 that Staying Alive, MTV International’s ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention campaign, and African music channel, MTV base, are joining forces to bring its thought-provoking film competition 48fest to Kenya for the first time.  48fest Kenya is a partnership between MTV Networks International, UNAIDS, the M-A-C AIDS Fund, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and UNFPA. Read: The Sun Newspaper

KENYA: An Average of 40 Incidents of Rape Reported a Day

Afrique en Ligne reported July 2 that on an average day 40 incidents of rape are reported to police stations countrywide in Kenya, according to UNFPA Country Representative Kemal Mustafa. He was speaking at Nairobi Women’s Hospital where UNFPA has funded the hospital’s data system at a tune of $43,478 to help the hospital monitor and keep records of rape incidents reported in the hospital. Read: Afrique en Ligne

KENYA: Social Worker Criticized UNFPA Funding

East African Standard ran a July 6 op ed by Martyn Drakard, a social worker, who noted that 85.6 percent of UNFPA’s 2006 revenue of $389 million came from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Drakard mentioned, “The United States is noticeably absent, thanks to the pro-life stance of the Bush administration, the only top political leader to stand by the courage of his convictions.” The op ed advised, “The only way Africans can take part in the fight for the future of Africa, until we have more economic power and greater say in our destiny, is by not giving in to the manufacturers of condoms and contraceptives.” Read: East African Standard

LIBERIA: Funding Needed to Ensure a Successful Population Census

The Analyst reported June 28 the Director General of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, Dr. T. Edward Liberty, says $5.6 million is needed to conduct the national population and housing census in March next year. He disclosed that to ensure the successful start of the process, several international partners had contributed funds including $1.5 million from UNFPA and $200,000 from USAID, while the United Nations Mission in Liberia donated satellite maps as well as sponsored the training program for some staff of institute. Read: The Analyst

LIBERIA: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Makes Appointments

The Inquirer reported July 2 that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf appointed UNFPA Country Representative to the National AIDS Commission among other members. Read: The Inquirer

LIBERIA: Citizens Recommend Special Court to Address Rape Cases

The Inquirer reported July 5 that citizens of District #2 in Montserrado County are recommending the establishment of a special court to speedily adjudicate rape cases. The citizens who served as participants at a one-day town meeting called by the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, in collaboration with the government of Denmark and UNFPA, made the recommendation after an interactive session.

MALAWI: Training on Safe Motherhood Methods to Avoid Obstetric Fistula

Daily Times reported July 6 that during a three-week training on safe motherhood methods to avoid pregnancy complications like obstetric fistula, UNFPA Country Representative Esperance Fundira donated medical supplies to Zomba Central Hospital. Fundira said it is sad that most women who suffer such injuries are often poor, young and uneducated and they lack adequate and proper information on how and where they can get treatment. “This problem can be avoided if we encourage young girls to stay in school and women should seek maternal advice before delivery. At UNFPA, we will continue to help these traumatized women to get back on their feet again,” she said. Read: Daily Times

MOZAMBIQUE: Jose Negrao’s Legacy on Development

Inter Press Service reported July 1 on the late activist and economist Jose Negrao’s legacy on the world of development. The story noted that UNDP and UNFPA put the country's per capita income at around $210 dollars per annum and life expectancy at 41.9 years, among the lowest in Africa – mainly due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which also fuels poverty. Read: Inter Press Service

NIGERIA: UNFPA Spent N20 Million on Development in Rivers State

The Tide reported July 6 that in 2006 UNFPA spent N20 million in Rivers State on promoting health, education, population and development strategy and gender advocacy. Read: The Tide

PAKISTAN: Aid for Flood

The Associated Press of Pakistan reported July 4 that the Ministry of Health, on request of Health Department of Balochistan, is dispatching medicines from the federal government hospitals to the flood affected areas. The story noted that UNFPA provided 2,000 sanitation kits each to Balochistan and Sindh Health Departments. Read: Associated Press of Pakistan, The News

SAMOA: Country Achieving MDGs

The New Zealand Herald reported June 27 that according to a multi-country program document prepared by UNDP and UNFPA, Samoa is currently "on target" to achieving the first Millennium Development Goal, "To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger."

U.N. Resident Coordinator in Samoa Naheed Haque said, "Samoan are blessed because they are able to live off the land, they have natures bounty, culture and a real sense of family." The U.N. report also states that Samoa has already achieved MDG's numbers four and five to "Reduce child mortality" and "Improve maternal health." Read: The New Zealand Herald

SOLOMON ISLANDS: UNFPA Opens News Office

Solomon Times reported July 2 that UNFPA has opened a new office in Honiara. Najib Assifi, representative and director of the country technical services team in the UNFPA Office for the Pacific based in Suva, Fiji, said they are pleased that UNFPA has set up a sub-office in the Solomon Islands. The office will be operated by UNFPA Program Analyst Polini Boseto, who joins UNFPA with over 10 years experience in the area of social and development policy of Solomon Islands. Read: Solomon Times, Mantangi. Covered by: The Solomon Islands 
Broadcasting Corporation, The Solomon Star, The Island Sun, The NiusPepa

SUDAN: Training Concludes on Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care

Sudan Tribune reported July 4 that Sudan’s federal and Lakes State’s Ministry of Health, in cooperation with UNFPA in southern Sudan, announced the conclusion of a training on emergency obstetric and neonatal care. Read: Sudan Tribune

SWAZILAND: Country Leads World in HIV/AIDS Prevalence

Swazi Observer  reported June 27 that Swaziland remains the world leader in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, despite the Demographic Health Survey placing the prevalence rate at 26 percent for the sexually active and 19 percent for all ages. The E10 million survey was compiled through government funds and with help from partners such as NERCHA, HAPAC, PEPFAR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, WHO, Italian Cooperation and PSI. Read: Swazi Observer

TANZANIA: World Bank Approves $60 Million in Development Funds

Xinhua General News Service reported July 6 that the World Bank approved an additional International Development Association credit of $60 million for the government of Tanzania to support the second phase of the Health Sector Development Project. The additional funds will support Tanzania's Second Health Sector Strategic Plan for an additional two years: 2007- 2009. Nine development partners, including the World Bank, UNFPA, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland will contribute to this "health basket fund" in order to reduce transaction costs and strengthen government systems. Read: Xinhua General News Service

TIMOR LESTE: Participants attend REDATAM Workshop

Timor Post reported June 27 on a workshop-training on REDATAM, organized by the National statistics directorate. During the press conference, Vice Minister of Planning and Finance Aicha Basarewan said now we have in Timor-Leste this powerful dissemination tool that gives to the public the possibility to further analyze the census data. The 2004 census is downloaded into the latest version of the REDATAM platform. It is expected that planners, policy makers and researchers make extensive and intensive use of this program and the data base. UNFPA Representative and Vice Minister of Planning and Finance opened the REDATAM workshop.

TIMOR LESTE: Nationwide Training on Gender Based Violence

Timor Post reported June 28 that the Office for Promotion of Equality (OPE), under the Prime Minister, has conducted an intensive three-month training on gender-based violence targeting internally displaced people in Dili, Baucau, Ainaro and Liquica districts. The purpose of the training was to identify obstacles and promote opportunities and justice access as well as protection for the victims of the political crisis. Elisio Manuel de Sousa, UNFPA training officer, said that this training package is a component of UNFPA’s support to promote gender equality, prevention and elimination of domestic violence in the country.

UGANDA: UNFPA Awards Journalist

New Vision reported July 1 that the lands minister, Omara Atubo, handed over a plaque to Irene Nabusoba, a New Vision journalist, in recognition of her outstanding coverage of population and development issues. The award given by UNFPA, came with a cash prize of sh600,000. Read: New Vision

UNITED STATES: Winner of Americans for UNFPA Contest to Visit Malawi

Providence Journal reported June 27 on Michaela Maynard’s valuable lesson learned: not all pregnancies are equal. The story also mentioned her upcoming trip to Malawi sponsored by Americans for UNFPA to expand her understanding of the issues facing women around the world, particularly in the area of reproductive health. “I want to make people aware of the difficulties that other people face in other countries,” Maynard said. Maynard, a 2007 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, was the winner of the nonprofit group’s first essay contest about the health and dignity of women. The contest drew applicants from 20 states, according to UNFPA Communications Manager M. Angeline Martyn. Read: Providence Journal

UNITED STATES: Clocks Questioned

The Wall Street Journal’s June 29 story on the use of clocks to measure time until a catastrophic event questioned the credibility of AIDS clocks. Many sub-Saharan countries with the highest number of cases have little idea how many of their residents are infected. Estimates are based on extrapolating from a few sites. The U.N.'s estimate of world HIV cases declined sharply in December, in part because of updated counts from various countries but also because of a genuine decline. Yet such changes don't always get reflected in these clocks. "We have just rechecked and recalibrated the clock a bit based on the most recently published figures," a UNFPA spokesman said in response to an inquiry from The Wall Street Journal last week. The clock's total, as a result, fell by more than 500,000.

VIETNAM: Funding Pledge to Promote Development in Kon Tum

Vietnam Net Bridge reported July 8 that the Vietnam government, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF pledged to give out $5.5 million to promote socio-economic development in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. Read: Vietnam Net Bridge

VIETNAM: Groups Collaborate to Build First Shelter for Women and Children

Vietnam News Service reported June 29 that UNFPA, German Development Service, the Ford Foundation, and the Centre for Women and Children’s Development have joined forces to set up a first-ever shelter in Vietnam to help women and children suffering from domestic violence, including victims of human trafficking. Read: Vietnam News Service

YEMEN: Maternal Mortality Rates Revealed in Health Survey

Yemen Observer reported June 26 that at any given moment, nearly 16 percent of women in Yemen are pregnant, according to the recent Demographic, Maternal and Child Health Survey by the Ministry of Health. 48 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before the age of 18. 14 per cent, meanwhile, were married before the age of 15. Even with the high fertility rate in Yemen, it is lower than it was in 1990, when women delivered 8.3 live births per lifetime, according to statistics from UNFPA. Read: Yemen Observer

YEMEN: Shamlan Meets with UNFPA Representative

Yemen News Agency reported July 2 that in a meeting with Shamlan and UNFPA Representative Hans Obdeijn, they discussed UNFPA program activities. Obdeijn revealed that six governorates were selected, including Hodeidah, to implement a number of developmental programs relating to the population sector. Read: Yemen News Agency 

YEMEN: Aiding Displaced Civilians

IRIN reported July 7 that thousands of civilians displaced by more than four months of fighting between government forces and rebels in Yemen's north-western Saada province face an uncertain future and are becoming fully reliant on aid to survive. The story noted that access to healthcare and education are also limited. U.N. agencies – including the office of UNHCR, the WHO, WFP and UNFPA in coordination with the Yemeni Red Crescent Society are all involved in the relief effort. Read: IRIN

 


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