Press Release

Family Planning Summit Supports SWEDD initiative to Accelerate 2020 Goals for the Sahel, Lake Chad Region and Beyond

17 July 2017

London 17, July 2017 – Leaders in Family Planning - from Government representatives to development organizations and foundations - revitalized their commitment to supporting rights-based family planning in Africa, particularly in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions through the promotion of the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Bank supportedSahel Women's Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) regional initiative.Thelandmarkspotlight event,'Family Planning in The Sahel: An essential investment for the capture of the demographic dividend and the achievement of peace, security and stability’ that took place on 10 July was in commemoration of World Population Day and a prelude to the 2017 London Family Planning Summit.

"Family planning paves the way to the demographic dividend" stated UNFPA Acting Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, making reference to the acclaimed progress made by the flagship SWEDD initiative in providing rights-based family planning services for women and young adolescents, and noting that the “Lake Chad Region shares with the Sahel, some same challenges" and thus expressed her hopes in seeing promises of the multi-national and multi-sector approach extended and replicated not only in Lake Chad region but also in the Horn of Africa.

To reverse the trends of early marriage, child pregnancy, maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity,ofwhichthe Sahel region has experienced high prevalencerates-an average of 606 deaths per 100,000 live births in the SWEDD member countries; Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania and Niger–theMinister of Health of Burkina Faso, Mr. Nicolas Meda, cited some tangible results of the SWEDD project in just two years of implementation, due to better securing of reproductive health services and products, including the use of modern means of contraception.

UNFPA Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mr. Mabingue Ngom applauded SWEDD governments such as Mauritania, for mobilizing national resources and demonstrating ownership for long-term results, “investing in the youth and in family planning is a key factor to accelerating the demographic transition and a direct link to reduce poverty, because this means working towards ensuring that ‘every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled’”.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, stressed the point of the landmark event, stating that “If you don't have familyplanningit's unthinkable to reap the demographic dividend" and realize the ‘Africa we Want”.

Acknowledging the commitment of the World Bank towards the SWEDD, the Deputy Secretary-General called on all development partners to have long-term solutions such as the multi-sectoral SWEDD approach, that begin with the empowerment of girls, securing voluntary contraception products, and a holistic investment solution for adolescents and youth - reminding that “we must put young people first”.

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UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

 

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For more information or media inquiries please contact:

Céline Andrée Adotevi, Communications Specialist 

Tel: + 221 77 552 63 51; adotevi@unfpa.org

Jacob Eben, Communication Consultant  

Tel: +221 77 358 66 62 ; eben@unfpa.org

Begay Downes-Thomas, Communication Expert 

Tel: +221 78 292 93 44 ; downes-thomas@unfpa.org