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At a ceremony organized today, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, handed-over 2 ambulances to the Gambella Regional Health Bureau. The ambulances were purchased with the generous funding of the Embassy of Sweden as part of the project entitled “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Response to the South Sudan Refugees and Surrounding Host Communities in Gambella Region,” implemented through UNFPA support from January 2015 to June 2016.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Anette Dahlström, Human Rights, Democracy and Gender Equality Counsellor with the Bilateral Development Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Sweden, said “in a world with more emergencies and humanitarian situations, the challenges of sexual and reproductive health and rights are more important to address than they have ever been.” She noted that one of the priorities of the Government of Sweden was the inclusion and the empowerment of women and girls in humanitarian response, including protection from gender-based violence, and her government was keen to work further with UNFPA on this. 

Mr. Rakoto Victor, UNFPA Country Representative a.i., said on his part that critical services like maternal health and contraception were necessary to save women’s lives and enable adolescent girls to make a safe and healthy transition to adulthood. “Investments need to be stepped up to the full realization of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women and girls, including those in humanitarian settings, and UNFPA remains committed on this matter,” he added.  

UNFPA supported this project in three newly established refugee camps – Kule, Jewi, and Tierkidi – and five surrounding host communities in the Gambella Region with nearly UAD 1.5 million mobilized from the Embassy of Sweden.  The project sought to address critical gaps in the area of emergency sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV and gender based violence. 

The project was implemented in partnership with the Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), Gambella Regional Health Bureau, Refugee Camp Health Centers and host community district Hospitals, Host community health facilities, International Medical Corps and UNHCR. 

Officials of Gambella Region Health Bureau, Embassy of Sweden, and UNFPA were present at the handover ceremony.