Source: allAfrica

ADDIS ABABA - Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Services, a three-year project that focuses on building resilience through universal access to sexual reproductive health in Somali state, was officially launched last week.

The 3.3 million USD project is jointly financed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Government of Denmark.

Speaking on a press conference, Somali State Finance and Economic Development Bureau Head, Ahmed Abdi said that improving the health status of women and girls is one of the key priorities of the Somali state as it is stipulated in the national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) and the Health Sector Transfo rmation Plan(HSTP).

He also said that his government is committed to support the impleme ntation of programs combining development and humanitarian comp onents noting that the project would help the Somali community to improve reproductive health and rights needs.

Denmark Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Åge Sandal Møller said that Denmark has a strong global advocate of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and services and women's and girls' to decide over their bodies is a basic human right.

"We place sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls at the center of our work and our development cooperation. It is a central element of Denmark's strategy for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action for the World of 2030," he added.

The project will make an important contribution in creating a nexus between development and humanitarian assistance as it will be integrated into the ongoing government-led resilience building programming in the Rural Productive Safety-Net Programe districts in the state.

UNFPA Deputy Representative Rakoto Victor on his part said that reproductive health and rights, gender equality and youth empowerment are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and fundamental to achieving sustainable development in every context.

"In this endeavor, it is important to ensure that every woman everywhere has access to sexual and reproductive health care as women don't stop having babies when a crisis breaks out or a disaster strikes," he stated.

The pilot project is based on an innovative partnership between UNFPA and the World Food Programme (WFP), where linkages will be made between humanitarian food distribution and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights targeting women and girls affected by drought.

It also promotes a long-term solution to vulnerable populations receiving humanitarian assistance and provides information on sexual and reproductive health and rights and family planning to internally displaced persons in their settlements.

The project, which will provide direct access to family planning services to the young women and mothers, is implemented in 9 woredas and 1 city council in Sity and Fanfan Zones of the Somali State.

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