By John Baimba Sesay,UNFPA Sierra Leone,Web and Media Analyst
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 23 May 2022- The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis has today, Monday 23 May 2022, received Credentials for the incoming Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ms. Nadia Rasheed.
Welcoming Ms. Rasheed to Sierra Leone, Professor Francis commended the longstanding ties of cooperation between Sierra Leone and UNFPA, further appreciating the Fund’s contribution to the country’s development roadmap especially in line with its three transformative goals of ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths, and ending gender based violence and other harmful practices.
UNFPA’s core priority areas, Professor David J. Francis said, fall within the Government’s human capital development commitments. He assured the new Representative of Government’s full support in meeting the mandate of the agency.
Ms. Rasheed commended the Government for prioritizing the advancement of women and girls as articulated in the Medium Term National Development Plan (2019 -2023) and underlined Sierra Leone’s commitment to achieving its global obligations towards improving the health and development of women and adolescent girls.
She assured the Hon. Minister of UNFPA’s sustained commitment to support Sierra Leone in the acceleration of progress towards the three transformative results.
UNFPA, she said, is happy to have contributed to some of the critical milestones that the country has achieved such as the reduction of the maternal mortality rate from 1,360 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 to the current 717 deaths per 100,000 live births; the training of over 1,200 midwives; and the continued efforts to address child marriage, teenage pregnancy and gender based violence.
Ms. Rasheed arrived in Sierra Leone on 16 May 2022 and looks forward to working closely with Government and development partners, both local and international, in advancing UNFPA’s mandate.
The new UNFPA Representative brings a wealth of technical, managerial and strategic leadership experience in health, gender and development issues. She has previously served as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in India.
UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in 155 countries and territories.