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Swedish Parliamentarians gain insight into UNFPA-supported work in Zambia

18 Apr 2022

Swedish Parliamentarians gain insight into UNFPA-supported work in Zambia
In March, a Swedish delegation paid a virtual visit to the UNFPA-backed Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) supported safe houses for adolescent girls. The YWCA reaches over 8,000 girls and 4,500 boys each year.

Seven Swedish Members of the Parliament paid a virtual field visit to Zambia to allow the delegation to better understand UNFPA’s work in the country to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights and address gender-based violence, with support from Sweden. 

On 2 March, the delegation visited the sites of two initiatives that have received Swedish support: the UNFPA-backed Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) health facility and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) supported safe houses for adolescent girls. With its mentorship programmes, the YWCA reaches over 8,000 girls and 4,500 boys annually. 

In December 2021, the Government of Sweden signed a four-year agreement with UNFPA which committed the country to providing UNFPA with $300 million in unearmarked funding. This type of funding is critical as it is flexible and predictable, and empowers UNFPA to help address countries’ unique needs. Sweden also funds the Together for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (#2gether4SRHR) five-year joint programme, which aims to improve girls’ and young people’s sexual health and rights in East and Southern Africa, and projects on gender-based violence and adolescent pregnancy. 

“The support UNFPA has received from the Government of Sweden has saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable maternal deaths and disabilities and unplanned pregnancies in Zambia,” said Coumba Mar Gadio, UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia on behalf of Gift Malunga, UNFPA Zambia Country Representative.

Despite Zambia’s significant progress in improving sexual and reproductive health over the last decade, the country  continues to face urgent challenges, such as the prevalence of child marriage and teenage pregnancies and a high maternal mortality rate. 

“We remain hopeful that through this tour, you will continue to advocate for key investments that will impact the health, wellbeing and development of women, girls and young people for many decades to come,” said Zambia’s Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo. 

Sweden has been one of UNFPA’s largest core contributors for many years and the main contributor to UNFPA’s Maternal Health Thematic Trust Fund (MHTF). Sweden is a critical partner of UNFPA, in Zambia and elsewhere, helping to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

The visit brought together Members of the Swedish and Zambian Parliaments, Zambia’s Minister of Health, and Swedish partners such as the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), the Deputy Head of Mission in Lusaka, UNFPA and its implementing partners in Zambia. 

See the videos of the visits to the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia health facility and the Young Women’s Christian Association supported safe houses.

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