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Swedish Delegation commends UNFPA supported interventions in Afar Region

A delegation from the Embassy of Sweden in Ethiopia visited UNFPA supported interventions in the Afar Region on 15 November. The delegation composed of Ms. Annika Jayawardena, Head of the Section for Bilateral Development Cooperation, and Ms. Anette Dahlström, head of the Swedish delegation and Human Rights, Democracy and Gender Equality Counsellor, held discussions with members of married and unmarried girls’ clubs in UNFPA supported intervention on girls’ empowerment in Mille District. The girls talked about the periodic discussion they are holding on the harms of child marriage and FGM and the effort they are undertaking to change their communities.   

The delegation also paid a visit to the Barbara May Maternity Hospital in the district which is run by the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA). The visitors were briefed on the services the hospital is providing in addressing the consequences of harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation.

The delegation also visited the Sexual and Reproductive Health clinic UNFPA is supporting through the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia. A briefing was provided to the delegation on a range of youth friendly services provided at the clinic. As part of their visit, the delegation had a chance to see the Maternity Waiting Home at the Semera Health Centre which is serving pregnant mothers coming from remote locations to deliver at the institution.    

Ms. Annika, head of the delegation, commended the achievements in the UNFPA supported interventions stating that the delegation was especially impressed with the activities of the girls’ clubs in fighting child marriage and female genital mutilation. She highlighted the need to replicate this intervention, especially in the remote locations. The delegation also appreciated the support of the government and expressed the need for more support in this regard.

The Embassy of Sweden is providing support to the 8th Country Programme (2016-2020) based on a funding agreement made last year amounting to USD 7.2 million. The Country Programme which is implemented in 9 Regions of Ethiopia is responding to national priorities as articulated in the Second Growth and Transformation Plan of the country and various sectoral plans. The funding provided by the Embassy of Sweden will partly go to support UNFPA’s humanitarian responses in Ethiopia.

Sweden remains the largest donor contributing to UNFPA’s core and none core resources being used to support its interventions.