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UNFPA’s flagship report, the State of World Population, was nationally launched today.  

The State of World Population 2022 bearing the theme “Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy” indicates that nearly half of all pregnancies, totalling 121 million each year throughout the world, are unintended.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Dr. Meseret Zelalem, Director of the Maternal, Child and Nutrition Directorate at the Ministry of Health, noted that the issue of unintended pregnancy is a very timely and important agenda. She indicated the seriousness of the problem especially among adolescents and youth underscoring the urgency to combat teenage pregnancy in Ethiopia.

On her part, Sarah Masale, UNFPA Country Representative a.i., said “The ability to decide whether to have children, how many and with whom, is fundamental to the reproductive rights of girls and women.” Ms. Masale appreciated Ethiopia’s commitment and investments in the provision of contraceptives and family planning information and services, along with other initiatives to reduce teenage pregnancy from the current 13 percent to 7 percent and to raise the median age at first marriage from 17 to 18 years by 2025.

The report which terms phenomenon of unintended pregnancy as a “neglected crisis” notes that such pregnancies represent a global failure to uphold basic human rights. The number of unintended pregnancies is expected to rise with population growth and momentum if decisive action is not taken, says the report.

The national launch of the State of World Population 2022 hosted a panel discussion involving panellists from the Ministry of Health, CSO, a youth association and UNFPA.

The event was attended by participants drawn from government and civil society organizations, development partners, UN agencies and other stakeholders.