Press Release

Netherlands Commits UGX 98bn in Support of Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights in West Nile and Acholi sub-regions in Uganda

16 October 2019
The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Uganda H. E Henk Jan Bakker (L) and UNFPA Uganda Representative Mr Alain Sibenaler exchange a handshake after the signing ceremony at the Netherlands Embassy in Kampala, October 16. PHOTO: UNFPA/Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi.

 

KAMPALA, 16 October 2019: The Embassy of Netherlands in Uganda and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today signed a partnership agreement for a four-year (2019 - 2023) programme to Advance Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in West Nile and Acholi Sub- Regions in Uganda.

Funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kampala, the 24 million Euro programme (approximately UGX 98billion) will support interventions to address five major SRHR issues: the high maternal mortality; the high unmet need for family planning; The high rates of teenage pregnancy and child marriages; the high occurrence of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), as well as inequalities in access to sexual and reproductive health services for vulnerable groups such as adolescents, refugees, and Persons with disabilities.

UNFPA will implement this programme in close collaboration with its strategic government partners such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, the National Population Council, as well as through district local government and non-governmental/ community based organisation. The programme will target the districts of Zombo, Nebbi, Maracha, Pakwach, Amuru, Agago, Arua, Yumbe, Koboko, Adjumani, Moyo and Lamwo.

Uganda performs poorly against key sexual reproductive health and rights indicators. According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, teenage pregnancy has stagnated at 25 percent for the last decade, contributing to 26 percent of maternal deaths.

“Such poor indicators jeopardize Uganda’s opportunity to harness the Demographic Dividend and to achieve its vision of becoming an upper middle income country by 2040,” said Mr. Alain Sibenaler, UNFPA Representative.

“Delivering an integrated package of services and rights to ensure zero unmet need for family planning, zero maternal deaths and zero tolerance of GBV and harmful practices is the core of our work, operationalizing UNFPA’s mandate to carry out the ICPD Programme of Action, as a means to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Uganda, Henk Jan Bakker, said that Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights is one of the pillars of Dutch Development Cooperation and mentioned that the Dutch SRHR policy framework focuses on four priorities:

  • Increasing access to age appropriate sexuality education and youth friendly services that meet the needs of young people (10–24 years);
  • Improving access to reproductive health commodities, including contraceptives;
  • Increasing access to better sexual and reproductive healthcare including family planning, pregnancies and childbirth, post abortion care. We believe that healthcare and services, both public and private should be available and of good quality;
  • Influencing more respect for the sexual and reproductive rights of marginalized groups.

 “Through this programme the Dutch Government seeks to further contribute to the Government of Uganda’s efforts to decrease maternal mortality, address unmet need for family planning, reduce gender based violence and promote gender equality, reduce teenage pregnancies and early marriages. And ultimately contribute to the country’s opportunity to harness the demographic dividend”, said Ambassador Bakker.

 The programme targets to reach approximately 2.8 million people with SRHR information and services, specifically targeting  adolescents and young people, women of reproductive age (15-49 years), and men including refugees, GBV survivors, and persons with disability.

The Director General of the National Population Council, Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, applauded the Government of Netherlands for this support towards the realization of Uganda’s development priorities. “This four-year funding will contribute to the implementation of the Roadmap to Harness the Demographic Dividend in Uganda; support the Strategies in the Uganda National Development Plan (NDP) III Vision 2040; and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 on ending poverty, 3 on good health and wellbeing, 5 on gender equality, 10 on reduced inequalities and 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions,” said Dr. Musinguzi.

Ultimately, the programme will strengthen the national and institutional mechanisms that integrate population dynamics into Uganda’s larger development agenda, Dr. Musinguzi added.

 

**********************************

For further information, contact:                                                                    

 

 Ms. Prossy Jonker Nakanjako

Communications Specialist, UNFPA

Email: nakanjako@unfpa.org 

The Embassy of Netherlands in Uganda

Ms Judith Elsie Adokorach

Policy officer-Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

Tel: +256 417744540

Email: Judith.adokorach@minbuza.nl

 

Tel: +256 204346032