Joint Press Release
Hargeisa, 14 March 2016 - The Government of Japan announced today that it has granted 1.8 million US dollars to UNFPA to support programmes aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and related morbidity among Somali women and newborns. His Excellency Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan, made the announcement after a ceremony where UNFPA handed over an ambulance donated by the People of Japan to the Ministry of Health in Somaliland.
The Japanese Ambassador said his Government has identified three priority areas of assistance to the Horn of Africa, namely reinstating delivery of basic social services, strengthening capacity in public security and vitalising economy. He said UNFPA’s programme that aims to improve reproductive and maternal health fits Japanese assistance policy well because it is one of the basic social services. His Excellency Tatsushi Terada commended the Ministry of Health in Somaliland for its commitment in improving maternal health and maintaining a good working relationship with UNFPA. He emphasised that political will is key for implementing organisations to deliver desirable outcomes.
The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, thanked the Japanese Government for being a reliable partner in the quest to ensure that no woman or child dies during birth. He requested the Government of Somaliland to continue advocating for more resources towards saving the lives of Somali mothers and newborn children stating that combined efforts should end up in the Somali people having more midwives getting trained and deployed to health facilities, supporting birth spacing, ensuring an end to gender-based violence (GBV) including FGM, early and forced marriage and denial of resources, opportunities and services to women, especially reproductive health services.
Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to support the investments in a safer and brighter future for the Somali mothers and children and pledged to continue supporting programmes, which can yield enormous dividends for sustainable development, such as promoting skilled attendance at birth and adoption of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care as part and parcel of the health system strengthening.
Vice Minister in the Ministry of Health His Excellency Hassan Dahir Dimbil expressed Somaliland’s gratitude to the People of Japan and UNFPA for the assistance and partnership. He called upon the Government of Japan to expand its assistance to more reproductive health programmes.
UNFPA inquiries: please contact UNFPA Communications Specialist, Pilirani Semu- Banda; [email protected]
Embassy of Japan in Kenya/Somalia: Please contact Economic Cooperation Advisor, Yuki Yoshida; [email protected]