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Promoting civil registration and vital statistics to leave no one behind in Africa

An inception meeting on sharing technical standards and implementation strategies of a project on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) was held in Dakar, Senegal from 24 to 26 July 2019.

The project is expected to overcome the difficulty in providing reliable and quality demographic data and information. Very few developing countries have a complete vital registration system recording vital events, and national statistical systems.

In his statement at the opening ceremony of the workshop the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mabingue Ngom said, “The promise to leave no one behind puts on the statistical community a high demand for high quality population data - reliable, timely, disaggregated, consistent and comparable data needed to assess progress, and addressing inequalities in human rights.”

“Many Africans are born, married and die without leaving a trace in any official legal records or statistics of their existence,” affirmed the UNFPA regional director while calling for more efforts to be deployed to walk the talk on leaving no one behind. 

The project is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Canadian federal corporation.

For Irina Dincu, Senior Technical Specialist at IDRC, the CRVS is an initiative of the Government of Canada providing a global funding mechanism to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve maternal and child health by 2030. Canada is the largest donor in the world funding civil registration, with a focus on funding sub-Saharan Africa. Cameroon and Senegal have already benefited from the funding, added Ms.Dincu.

“While talking about developing vital statistics, we must never forget that behind every number is a person who defines our common humanity and deserves our compassion”. Mabingue Ngom noted as he wrapped up his opening statement.

Participants at the workshop were technical staff from IDRC as well as UNFPA staff from Headquarters, and three regional offices (ASRO, LACRO, and WCARO).