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United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on official visit to Nigeria, West and Central Africa Region

 The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Natalia Kanem, has arrived in Nigeria for an official visit from 24 to 28 November 2021 to renew UNFPA’s support and commitment for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, girls, and young people in Nigeria and the region.

 

Upon her arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, she expressed delight to be back in Nigeria after five years from her last visit, noting her history with Nigeria.

 

“Today, UNFPA is looking after the reproductive health of countless women, girls, boys and men, everyone across this beautiful country. My message is simple; we need to assure that our adolescent girls grow up secured, that her community is at peace, and that she has the life-saving that she needs to navigate a dangerous world if there is ignorance.” Dr. Natalia Kanem noted.

 

The UNFPA Executive Director also said while in Nigeria, she will be thanking the brave Nigerians who came out to fight against COVID-19. During this official visit, she will also shed light on the achievements, progress and challenges in implementing UNFPA’s mandate in Nigeria and the region, particularly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The UNFPA Executive Director is being accompanied by the UNFPA Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Ms. Argentina Matavel Piccin, based in Dakar, Senegal.

 

UNFPA Resident Representative for Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Mueller says all is set to host the Executive Director and her delegation. “We are delighted and honoured to welcome the Executive Director to Nigeria. Together with the Regional Director their visit will bring added impetus to our work. We are excited.” Remarked Ms. Ulla Mueller.

 

Dr. Natalia Kanem’s visit comes two years following the highly successful 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD+25. Member States recommitted to accelerate the promise of achieving the Plan of Action of the International Population on Development, 25 years after the landmark agreement in Cairo, Egypt.

 

In a report published by the High-Level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, much progress has been made, but a lot more is still required to achieve the THREE cardinal and transformative results of ZERO maternal deaths, ZERO unmet need for family planning, and ZERO gender-based violence, and harmful practices, including Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage.

 

While the current Strategic Plan (2018-2021) draws to an end, UNFPA’s newly approved Strategic Plan 2022-2025 will be implemented from 1 January, 2022, with renewed vigour commitment and a greater sense of responsibility to accelerate and upscale interventions aimed at achieving the three transformative results.

 

UNFPA Executive Director’s visit to Nigeria, and the region coincides with the start of this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.

 

The Executive Director will engage with the Government, partners, beneficiaries and staff members. In this light, the UN Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director and her delegation will be granted an audience by Nigeria’s President, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, and members of government, including the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Health, Women Affairs, Youth and Humanitarian Affairs.

 

In Nigeria, the Executive Director will also be accepting an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Benin for her leadership and illustrious advocacy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender Equality.

 

Dr. Natalia Kanem and Ms. Argentina Matavel Piccin will also visit the health care workers at the UN Severe Acute Respiratory Isolation and Treatment Center (SARI) in Abuja, and attend the STEAM Flagship graduation event. STEAM flagship is an entreneurship programme for GBV survivors.

 

They will also launch the Media Premier of Drama series on Gender-based Violence on the 25 November, as part of the 16 Days Activism commemoration. She will be meeting and engaging with young people from the University of Benin, Edo State to exchange views and ideas.

 

Dr. Natalia Kanem will hold a press briefing from 18:00 – 18:30 hours on 28 November 2021, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel.

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.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

 

Jacob Enoh EBEN, | Regional Communications Advisor| UNFPA WCARO |Phone: +234 907 742 3638; +221 77 450 4780 | E-mail: eben@unfpa.org  

 

Kori Habib | Media Associate | UNFPA Nigeria | Tel. +234 803 45 00016 ; +227 92 19 83 56 | E-mail : habib@unfpa.org