Government of Japan grants UNFPA 1.8 million US Dollars towards the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality to Somali women and newborns

By United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The Government of Japan announced today thatit has granted 1.8 million US dollars to UNFPA to support programmes aimedat reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and related morbidity amongSomali women and newborns.

His Excellency Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan, made theannouncement 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 priorityareas of assistance to the Horn of Africa, namely reinstating delivery of basicsocial services, strengthening capacity in public security and vitalisingeconomy. He said UNFPA's programme that aims to improve reproductiveand maternal health fits Japanese assistance policy well because it is one ofthe basic social services.

His Excellency Tatsushi Terada commended the Ministry of Health inSomaliland for its commitment in improving maternal health and maintaining agood working relationship with UNFPA. He emphasised that political will iskey for implementing organisations to deliver desirable outcomes.

The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, thanked the JapaneseGovernment for being a reliable partner in the quest to ensure that no womanor child dies during birth. He requested the Government of Somaliland tocontinue advocating for more resources towards saving the lives of Somalimothers and newborn children stating that combined efforts should end up inthe Somali people having more midwives getting trained and deployed tohealth facilities, supporting birth spacing, ensuring an end to gender-basedviolence (GBV) including FGM, early and forced marriage and denial ofresources, opportunities and services to women, especially reproductivehealth services.

Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA's commitment to support the investments in asafer and brighter future for the Somali mothers and children and pledged tocontinue supporting programmes, which can yield enormous dividends forsustainable development, such as promoting skilled attendance at birth andadoption of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care as part andparcel of the health system strengthening.

Vice Minister in the Ministry of Health His Excellency Hassan Dahir Dimbilexpressed Somaliland's gratitude to the People of Japan and UNFPA for theassistance and partnership. He called upon the Government of Japan toexpand its assistance to more reproductive health programmes.