UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has commended the government of Canada for funding a project toward ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Traditional Practices (GBV/HTP) in Nigeria.
The Representative of the fund in Nigeria, Ms Ulla Muller, made the commendation in Abuja on Wednesday while declaring open a two-day GBV/HTP Project Steering Committee meeting.
Muller said that the project, currently being implemented in Sokoto, Bauchi and Oyo states, started in 2018 and would last in 2021, adding that the major aim of the programme is to address gaps in GBV and HTPs in the country.
She explained that the project was based on the overview of the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS2018) conducted by National Population Commission (NPC) which showed that women in the country still experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
She noted that the goals of the project are: to reduce the prevalence of sexual and gender based violence, Child Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM), obstetric fistula and Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C).
The UNFPA representative said that the project was also aimed at creating an enabling environment and provide treatment and care for affected women and girls.
She, therefore, stressed the need for a National Steering Committee for the Canada project, which would have a UNFPA representative to provide technical assistanc, national consultants, state coordinators, data collectors and field supervisors.
She added that “the target of the project is to achieve zero FGM and harmful practices, zero preventable maternal deaths and zero unmet need for family planning.
“This project gives us hope and optimism because this country can be delivered. We can deliver the visions of the project because Nigeria has the capacity. This is because; Nigeria’s success is Africa’s success.”
She noted that the target population are; women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 years, men and boys, community leaders (men and women), opinion leaders (men and women), parents, adolescents (males and females), health service providers and relevant government officials in line ministries, parastatals in federal, state and local governments.
Representative of Global Affairs Canada, Kibeza Kasubi, said that “the Canadian Government International Assistance Policy is committed to working with donors, Federal Government and partners to improve the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.”
She added that the policy is also to foster collaboration for better healthcare services.
She listed beneficiaries of the project to include 20,000 adolescent girls at risk of child marriage, 6,000 girls affected by obstetric fistula, while 300,000 young people were reached with information on gender issues.
She explained that the project also trained 900 health workers in FGM, fistula care and prevention, while 15 communities abandoned the practice of FGM.
State commissioners for health, women affairs, education, UNFPA Implementing Partners (IPs), among others are attending the meeting. (NAN)
– Mar. 12, 2020 @ 9:35 GMT |