Posted by Judd-Leonard Okafor | 5 July 2019 | 1,127 times
The United Nations Population Fund says Nigeria will not achieve targets for Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, if it disregards “plan of action” agreed to 25 years ago at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
The ICPD in Cairo in 1994 links population and development, calls for empowering women and emphasises that meeting people needs is necessary for individual advancement and balanced development.
A total 197 signed up to the plan of action in 1994, but progress on it has stalled, said Eugene Kongnyuy, resident representative of the UNFPA in Nigeria.
He said the government must muster political will to solve the “unfinished business” that ICPD proposes for human development.
“Without the ICPD plan of action, we are not going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said at a media chat marking the Fund’s 50th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of ICPD in Abuja.
“We are not going to go anywhere if we don’t build an egalitarian society. We are building a disaster. An estimated 214 million women want to prevent pregnancy but are not using any modern method of contraception.
In Nigeria, that is one in every five women. Unwanted pregnancy and poor health care services still cause many deaths. A total 111 women in Nigeria die every day in pregnancy and childbirth, contributing to the global 800 daily deaths.
Total fertility in Nigeria remains high: a Nigerian woman typically has between five and six children, compared to a global average of between two and three children for women in other parts of the world.
The move to provide access to modern contraception for families who want to plan their families is projected to take a hit between now and next year after government funding for reproductive health commodities was cut by almost 86% in the 2019 budget. The budget for family planning commodities has always been considered small and inadequate.
A further cut “is no joke,” said Kongnyuy. “Just giving access to those who already want it [to plan their families] is what we want,” he said.
“If you are building a society where you are suppressing women, then you are creating a condition that will exterminate the planet. UNFPA asks for opportunities for all, and that’s the only thing that will make this planet sustainable.” (Daily Trust)
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