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At a ceremony held today, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, signed an agreement with the Embassy of Sweden on funding amounting to USD 7.2 million in support of its 8th Country Programme (2016-2020). The Country Programme which is implemented in 8 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. 

Making remarks at the event, Ms. Annika Jayawardena, Head of the Section for Bilateral Development Cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden said her government highly appreciates the strong partnership with UNFPA. “Sweden is steadfast in its commitment to support gender equality and every individual’s right to sexual and reproductive health and rights with the aim of contributing to the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” she noted. 

Mr. Rakoto Victor, UNFPA Country Representative a.i., said on his part that UNFPA is grateful for the contribution from the people of Sweden. He indicated that “the support will be very instrumental in realizing the various programmatic interventions stipulated in the Country Progamme which in turn help the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, such as reducing maternal death, poverty and gender inequality.”

The 8th Country Programme of UNFPA, through its Sexual and Reproductive Health, Population and Development, Gender programme, and Adolescent and Youth Development components, will address increased access to and use of health services focusing on maternal and new-born health; increased capacity of national institutions for evidence-based planning and management of development programmes; increased participation and decision-making by women and youth in benefiting from targeted services; and increased protection and rehabilitation of women and youth in areas of gender based violence.

The funding from Sweden will also go to support UNFPA’s humanitarian response which aims to improve sexual and reproductive health care in refugee camps for South Sudanese refugees and surrounding host communities through strengthening demand creation and service provision in the areas of Reproductive Health, Gender Based Violence and HIV – forming a continuation to previous support targeting similar population in the same geographic area.

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