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United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on official visit to Nigeria, West and Central Africa Region

Abuja, Nigeria, 24 November 2021 – The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Natalia Kanem, will be on an official visit to Nigeria from 24 to 28 November 2021 to renew UNFPA’s support and commitment for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, girls, and young people in Nigeria and the region.

The Executive Director will be accompanied by the UNFPA Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Ms. Argentina Matavel Piccin, based in Dakar, Senegal.

During  this  official  visit,  the  UNFPA  Executive  Director  will  shed  light  on  the  achievements, progress and challenges in implementing UNFPA’s mandate in Nigeria and the region, particularly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

UNFPA Resident Representative for Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Mueller says all is set to host the Executive Director and her delegation. “We are delighted and honoured to welcome the Executive Director to Nigeria. Together with the Regional Director their visit will bring added impetus to our work. We are excited.” Remarked Ms. Ulla Mueller.

Dr. Natalia Kanem’s visit comes two years following the highly successful 2019 Nairobi Summit on  ICPD+25.  Member  States  recommitted  to  accelerate  the  promise  of  achieving  the  Plan  of Action of the International Population on Development, 25 years after the landmark agreement in Cairo, Egypt.

In a report published by the High-Level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, much progress  has  been  made,  but  a  lot  more  is  still  required  to  achieve  the  THREE  cardinal  and transformative results of ZERO maternal deaths, ZERO unmet need for family planning, and ZERO gender-based  violence,  and  harmful  practices,  including  Female  Genital  Mutilation  and  Child Marriage.

While the current Strategic Plan (2018-2021) draws to an end, UNFPA’s newly approved Strategic Plan 2022-2025 will be implemented from 1 January, 2022, with renewed vigour commitment and a greater sense of responsibility to accelerate and upscale interventions aimed at achieving the three transformative results.

UNFPA Executive Director’s visit to Nigeria, and the region coincides with the start of this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.

The  Executive  Director  will  engage  with  the  Government,  partners,  beneficiaries  and  staff members. In this light, the UN Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director and her delegation will be granted an audience by Nigeria’s President, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, and members  of  government,  including  the  Ministers  of  Finance,  Budget  and  National  Planning, Health, Women Affairs, Youth and Humanitarian Affairs.

In Nigeria, the Executive Director will also be accepting an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Benin for her leadership and illustrious advocacy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender Equality.

Dr. Natalia Kanem and Ms. Argentina Matavel Piccin will also visit the health care workers at the UN  Severe  Acute  Respiratory  Isolation  and  Treatment  Center  (SARI)  in Abuja,  and  attend  the STEAM  Flagship  graduation  event.  STEAM  flagship  is  an  entreneurship  programme  for  GBV survivors.

They will also launch the Media Premier of Drama series on Gender-based Violence on the 25 November, as part of the 16 Days Activism commemoration. She will be meeting and engaging with young people from the University of Benin, Edo State to exchange views and ideas.

Dr. Natalia Kanem will hold a press briefing from 18:00 – 18:30 hours on 28 November 2021, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel.

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UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

Jacob Enoh EBEN, | Regional Communications Advisor| UNFPA WCARO |Phone: +234 907 742 3638; +221 77 450 4780 | E-mail: eben@unfpa.org

Kori Habib | Media Associate | UNFPA Nigeria | Tel. +234 803 45 00016 ; +227 92 19 83 56 | E- mail : habib@unfpa.org

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