You are here

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 pledge during the Extraordinary African Union (AU) Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference that took place on 27 May 2022, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

In her address to the AU Heads of State and Government, high-level 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, safe motherhood modalities, and psychosocial support for women and girls traumatized by Gender-Based Violence, in accordance with UNFPA’s mandate, with emphasis on women’s leadership, thereby helping to realize the Africa vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens.

The Summit was held to address Africa's current humanitarian challenges, exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts and disasters across the continent.

Dr. Natalia Kanem took the opportunity alongside other international development and humanitarian partners to commit support to the new African Humanitarian Agency. 

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

The summit participants discussed these challenges affecting humanitarian assistance in Africa, advocating for sustainable financing to meet urgent humanitarian needs, and mobilizing resources for humanitarian response. They endorsed resilience programmes for populations affected by complex crises, famine, and other disasters.

African Union Chairperson, President Macky Sall, the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, together with representatives of other AU Member States expressed gratitude to all traditional and new partners for their active commitment last as demonstrated by their financial contributions.

Commending 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, motivation and incentive to lift the people up. What they need from us is the resources, solidarity and, perhaps as important as everything, respect.”

He added that the UN is ready to support the operationalization of the Africa Humanitarian Agency, drawing from its decades of experience responding to humanitarian needs around the world.


UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.  To learn more, visit:


Jacob Enoh Eben, | Regional Communications Advisor | UNFPA WCARO | Phone: +221 77 450 4780;  +221 77 3586662 |  Email:


Ms. Flora Isabel Mangue Obamamokuy | Programme Officer, Gender and Communications | UNFPA Equatorial Guinea | Tel. +240 222116861| Email: