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Sweden invests USD 8.5 Million in 2017 for improved maternal and new-born health

Sweden has granted the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) USD 8.5 Million to scale-up high impact reproductive, maternal, new-born and adolescent health interventions in Somalia.  

Millions of women in Somalia remain at great risk during pregnancy and childbirth. Every year, one in 22 women dies prematurely due to pregnancy or childbirthrelated complications. Most of these complications and illnesses are easily preventable and treatable. Strong political will and long-term financial commitment is urgently needed to address the high maternal deaths.  

The Swedish funding to the health sector is part of a long-term commitment to address the severe health needs of women and girls and help re-build the health system in Somalia.    

“Far too many women’s lives are lost unnecessarily and prematurely during pregnancy and childbirth. It is critical that we now come together to strengthen our political and financial commitment for women’s health and wellbeing. Sweden remains committed to improve access to equitable and quality health services for women and children. This is one of the key priority areas for Sweden’s development cooperation with Somalia,” said Mr. Mikael Lindvall, Swedish Ambassador to Somalia. 

Sweden is the second largest donor in the health sector and has supported maternal and child healthcare in Somalia since 2006.  

The UNFPA Representative, Mr. Nikolai Botev, said the generous contribution from Sweden comes at a critical moment when UNFPA is reaffirming its efforts to working towards achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health, realizing reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality, and improving the lives of adolescents, youth and women. 

“The grant from Sweden is another expression of strong confidence in the work that UNFPA is undertaking towards the betterment of the lives of the people of Somalia,” said Mr. Botev. 

The funding from Sweden is fundamental in contributing to Somalia’s social and human development, particularly in the National Development Plan areas of health, youth, gender, resilience and capacity building in pursuit of the Government of Somalia, UNFPA’s and Sweden’s common goal of a better and healthier Somalia for all.  

“We are enormously grateful for the Swedish contribution. It comes at a critical time and will be vital in helping the many Somali people, especially women and young people, whose lives have already been so traumatically disrupted by a number of adverse conditions, including the current drought,” said Mr. Botev.  

Mr. Botev reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to supporting increased availability and use of integrated maternal and new-born health services that are gender-responsive and meet human rights standards for quality of care and equity in access.