The United Nations Population Fund is ensuring accelerated action towards the International Conference on Population and Development summit, through its technical assistance to the Nigerian government, ministries, agencies and other partners.
At a virtual conference to mark the anniversary of the summit held last year in Nairobi, UNFPA Resident Representative for Nigeria Ms. Ulla Mueller said the country, which has over 60,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1000 fatalities, has had to adapt its strategies in a post-pandemic world.
“We may have been forced to alter our best made plans, but within this unexpected visitor lies the opportunity to innovate, improve, and adopt the post-pandemic mantra of “build back better,” Mueller said.
According to Mueller, a comparison of the pre- and post-pandemic data shows that, with Nigeria’s already fragile health sector, the pandemic threatened to reverse successes made in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights – visible in the documented increases in gender-based violence, missed hospital visits and scarcity of much-needed medical supplies.
“Despite Covid19 it is still important to focus on the commitments and accountability to deliver the 3 transformational goals in Nigeria,” she said.
The three transformative goals include zero maternal mortality, zero unmet need for contraceptives and an end to Gender-Based Violence and other harmful practices in Nigeria.
The Nigerian leg of the commemoration of the anniversary of the Nairobi summit was held in conjunction with the National Population Commission (NPC), with the Minister of Health and Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Executive Chairman of the NPC-Alhaji Nasir Issa Kwarra both in attendance.
Despite challenges from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria remains committed to supporting women and girls’ rights on the anniversary of the historic ICPD ummit.
A year ago at the landmark Nairobi summit, countries around the world pledged to commit to ending preventable maternal death, gender-based violence and harmful practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation, by 2030.
More than 8,000 delegates from 170 governments, including Nigeria, made financial and other commitments to a vision of complete equality for women and girls.
The global health crisis has increased the urgency and importance of attaining the Nairobi commitments in Nigeria and globally before 2030.