Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary Danies Chisenda says the Government remains steadfastly committed to uplift people’s wellbeing especially women and girls by upholding sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all.
In a statement read on his behalf by the Ministry’s Director for Population and Development Mr. Charles Banda at the official opening of the 2020 GRZ/UNFPA 8th Country Programme Annual Review and 2021 Planning Meeting in Lusaka, Mr. Chisenda commended the United National Population Fund (UNFPA) for its continued collaboration with the Zambian Government to improve the welfare of the people.
Mr. Chisenda, who is Permanent Secretary in charge of Development Cooperation, Monitoring and Evaluation, said the 2020 annual review and planning meeting presented a great opportunity to all multi-sectoral participants to reflect on the implementation status, and determine to what extent the work was leading towards the desired development outcomes.
“Government has sharpened its resolve in guiding the country on population matters by launching the 2019 National Population Policy and its Implementation Plan this year. The implementation plan has clear targets; and as we plan for next year, it will be vital that all stakeholders refer to the two documents to guide our immediate results,” Mr. Chisenda said. “I assure you that the Government through our ministry is committed to track progress on the implementation of the 8th GRZ/UNFPA Country Programme on population and development to ensure that critical targets are achieved as detailed in our various work plans.”
The Permanent Secretary noted that the Government of Zambia was cognisant of some setbacks in the implementation of the 2020 annual works due to COVID-19 and other natural disasters.
“Whatever the context, whether COVID-19 or a climate-related disaster or any other crisis, the 8th Country Programme’s focus remains on uplifting people especially women and girls by upholding sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all. You all may be aware COVID-19 has unmasked the extent to which such crises exacerbate inequalities,” Mr. Chisenda said. “Zambia and UNFPA have worked well together even in this COVID-19 environment and for this, the UNFPA Country Office – through the able leadership of the Country Representative Madam Gift Malunga – is greatly appreciated.”
And UNFPA Country Representative Gift Malunga reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to sustain its support to Zambia and partners towards securing the health and wellbeing of all women and young people. She noted that COVID-19 had presented unprecedented challenges to humanity.
“Despite this setback, we have all demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability as we have continued to deliver on our mandate which is even more critical in times like these when we need to continue to safeguard the health and wellbeing of women and young people,” said Ms. Malunga.
She expressed optimism that the participants will deliver on the 2021 priorities.
“Some of these priorities include: Supporting continuity of essential sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including maternal health care services that have been disrupted, with potentially serious implications for maternal and new-born health; procurement and supply of family planning commodities; adolescent and youth SRH and empowerment; prevention and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and support for the Population and Housing Census; and advancing the Demographic Dividend.”
Under the 8th Country Programme (2016-2020), UNFPA supports Zambia in implementing its national priorities as articulated in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework (UNSDPF).
This is according to a media statement issued by Ministry of National Development Planning spokesperson Mr. Chibaula D. Silwamba in Lusaka yesterday.