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Investing in Reproductive Health

UNFPA Pacific, Suva (January 08, 2014) – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pacific Sub-Regional Office (PSRO) on Wednesday affirmed its support towards the efforts of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to ensure communities and villages across the country are able to access reproductive health information, with a gift of a vehicle.

When officially handing over the vehicle to the ministry, UNFPA Pacific Director and Representative Dr Laurent Zessler acknowledged the government’s strategic and continuous efforts to ensure that girls and women have access to reproductive health information.

Dr Zessler was referring to the ministry’s decision to utilize the Women’s Resource Centres across Fiji as a discussion and knowledge-exchange space for girls and women, without fear or discrimination. The potential rippling effect of having access to such information within the community as a whole - youth, young couples, traditional and faith-based organisation leaders – will be invaluable.

“The initiative will assist community members to have critical information that would facilitate better planning of their families and resources and ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to strive towards better health, better socio-economic wellbeing and livelihoods,” Dr Laurent said.

“This vehicle is a small contribution to your efforts; it will serve a small part in our collective commitment and efforts to reach out to those we are targeting, improving access to reproductive health information and thus enabling them to make informed choices.”

Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni expressed sincere gratitude for the vehicle which should be well-utilized in reaching the women’s centres for the provision of community facilitator training and reproductive health information.

“The handover is another good example of how the United Nations’ working closely with national and regional institutions in finding solutions for challenges that confronts our citizens on a daily basis,” Dr Jiko said.

“For too long we have been dormant on the needs and rights of young people, and this year as we embark on a new year of targeted services, the joint partnership between the key government ministers, inclusive of Education, Health and Youth will smartly engage in the strategic activities to implement a different approach to reproductive health services progressively across the communities of Fiji.”

Dr Jiko said the vehicle would propel stakeholders towards the full realization of the projected outcomes of this initiative between the United Nations Population Fund and the government ministries involved.

The vehicle cost FJ$58,850.

ENDS

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