Finland is providing €3 million more to the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA for Somalia, to “safeguard the country’s sexual and reproductive health and rights”.
Sexual and reproductive health includes, for example, services related to maternal health, contraception and family planning.
“As with most crises, this pandemic has severely disrupted access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services and hampered efforts to respond to gender-based violence, at a time when women and girls need these services most” Anders Thomsen, UNFPA’s Country Representative in Somalia, says in a statement
The funding will guarantee the cohesion of maternal health services and will also be given to obtain protective equipment and national coronavirus testing.
“In these times of crisis, we want to intensify our efforts, together with UNFPA and the government, to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in Somalia,” says Erik Lundberg, Finland’s Ambassador to Somalia.
Finland’s total aid commitment to Somalia in 2020 is now €6 million, and targeted assistance over recent years has helped Hegeisa hospital lower its infant mortality rate from 24% in 2014 to just 5% in 2017.
More than 700 health workers were trained with Finnish support during the same period.