UN to assist 22 million women with family planning in conflict areas

The use of social media helps in creating awareness on the importance of family planning.

The Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, said the fund would help an estimated 22 million women gain access to family planning.

Mr. Osotimehin said the help would be rendered in territories emerging from conflicts and natural disasters. He said this in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday at a news conference on the third global conference on “Women Deliver” in Kuala Lumpur.

“The fund will work with the International Planned Parenthood Federation to address unmet needs for family planning among marginalised populations in Bolivia, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Ethiopia and Haiti,” he said.

Other countries are India, Kenya, Liberia, Myanmar, Nigeria, the Pacific Islands, Pakistan and South Sudan.

Mr. Osotimehin said the plans included boosting family planning information and collaborating with governments and organisations. He said the plan would ensure affordable health care and encourage comprehensive sex education. He said most times women do not access family planning not because of culture or religion but by an influence of grandmothers.

“The situation is not enough to just distribute contraceptives but to have a system that will look at inventory and monitoring.”

He said the use of social media had helped a lot in the area of creating awareness on the importance of family planning.

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said women knew what was best for their families as they had invested in health care, nutritious food and education.

“The tragedy is not just that most women do not control household budgets, it is that many women do not control the circumstance of their own lives. If women everywhere have the power to determine their futures, the world would be transformed forever,” she said.

She said millions of women still lacked access to contraceptive, adding “our ability to create complex partnership and change system in dozens of countries would determine the result in future.”

Mrs. Gates called for the involvement of religious leaders to enable them understand the issues better and pass adequate information.



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