Press Release

UNFPA and Rotary Renew Cooperation on Population and Development Issues

05 February 2003

UNITED NATIONS, New York - UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Rotary International have renewed a Memorandum of Cooperation to work together on population and development issues around the world. UNFPA and Rotary will continue their joint efforts through an agreement formalized last year, to address development needs and confront challenges of global population growth.

By the terms of the Memorandum, UNFPA and some of the 30,000 Rotary clubs around the world will consult to identify local population and development needs and seek ways to collaborate to address them. The Fund will encourage its offices to connect with Rotary clubs and districts at the local level. Rotary will encourage its club and districts to support population and development programmes.

"We are most pleased to continue our working partnership, with Rotary International to tackle the critical population issues facing our human family," said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. "We cannot confront the massive challenges of poverty, hunger, disease and environmental destruction unless we address issues of population and reproductive health."

"A core cause of poverty in many parts of the world is the imbalance between population growth and resources such as employment, health care and education," said Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul. "Rotary has long addressed these issues and we will encourage interested Rotary clubs to continue to work with UNFPA whenever our goals are shared."

Rotary clubs have already begun dealing with population-related issues through programmes focused on hunger prevention, literacy, education and the environment. Examples of the cooperation between Rotary and UNFPA in the past year included launching HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns in highly affected areas in India and undertaking efforts to increase understanding of reproductive health issues in regions of Mexico.

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UNFPA is the world's largest multilateral source of assistance in the areas of reproductive health and population data collection and analysis. The Fund works in over 140 countries and has provided more than $5.6 billion to developing countries since 1969.

Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members in 164 countries.

Contact Information:

Kristin Hetle
Tel.: +1 212-297-5020

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031

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