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The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Natalia Kanem, has welcomed the establishment of the African Humanitarian Agency and pledged to support its operationalization. Dr. Natalia Kanem made the commitment at the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit and Donor Conference held on May 27, 2022 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

In her address to AU Heads of State and Government, senior government officials and ministers as well as regional economic communities and partners, she pledged to "support the operationalization of the Agency with data support, procurement of dignity kits and hygiene kits and psychosocial support to women and girls traumatized by gender-based violence, in line with UNFPA's mandate, with a focus on women's leadership to help realize the African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa led by its own citizens.

The Summit was organized to address the humanitarian challenges facing Africa, currently exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts and disasters across the continent.

According to the United Nations Global Humanitarian Overview 2021, six of the largest and most urgent crises with alarming humanitarian consequences are occurring in Africa, with more than 30 million internally displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers. In the 15 most affected member states, 113 million people need emergency assistance in 2022.

Summit participants discussed these challenges affecting humanitarian assistance in Africa, advocating for sustainable funding to meet urgent humanitarian needs and mobilizing resources for humanitarian response. They endorsed resilience programs for populations affected by complex crises such as famine and natural disasters.

Senegal's President and current Chairperson of the African Union, President Macky Sall, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, as well as representatives of other AU member states, expressed their gratitude to all traditional and new partners for their active engagement, as demonstrated by their financial contributions.

Hailing the solidarity of Africans, Mr. Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said: "The people of this continent have the skills, the motivation and the incentive to uplift the people. What they expect from us are resources, solidarity and, perhaps most importantly, respect."

He added that the UN stands ready to support the operationalization of the African Humanitarian Agency, building on its decades of experience in responding to humanitarian needs around the world.          


UNFPA is the lead United Nations agency for sexual and reproductive health. Our mission is to create a world in which every pregnancy is wanted and every birth is safe. For more information, click here: