The European Commission, UNFPA and the Government of Suriname recently signed an agreement which will provide US$2.1 million in grant funding to Suriname for critical sexual and reproductive health care services. This agreement forms part of a wider project on reproductive health in 10 selected countries of the African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) Region. The other country in the Caribbean which will benefit from this initiative is Jamaica whose agreement will be signed shortly.
UNFPA Representative, Hetty Sarjeant noted that “the emphasis of this three-year project will be placed on the reduction of maternal mortality, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention among people in rural and urban settings especially the marginalized and disadvantaged.” She added that “young people and people living in the hard-to-reach hinterland of Suriname, where social services are still scarce, will be primarily targeted.”
Drs. Kermechend Raghoebarsing, Minister of Planning and Development Collaboration, stated that he was pleased to see that “the project development process was led by nationals of Suriname supported by technical expertise provided by UNFPA Caribbean office, thus ensuring ownership and sustainability.” Partners in this project will include government and non-governmental institutions such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education - Basic Life Skills Programme, Stitching Lobi Foundation, Medical Mission and Maxi Linder.
The UNFPA office in Jamaica currently serves 21 English- and Dutch-speaking countries. The overall objective of the 2002-2006 UNFPA Caribbean Programme in the region is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and improving the quality of life of populations in member countries by promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and by integrating population related factors into development strategies and plans.
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