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June 19, 2019

By Regina Pratt

UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, Programme, Mr. Dereje Wordofa

Deputy Executive Director of Programme of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dereje Wordofa, and the Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Mabingue Ngom will today pay a three-day curtsey call to Sierra Leone from 19th to 21st June, 2019.

During their visit to the country, Wordofa and Ngom will meet with the President Julius Maada Bio, senior government ministers, donors, non-governmental organisations and the media

As this year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), a meeting organised by UNFPA in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt,  where 179 governments adopted a revolutionary Programme of Action and called for women’s reproductive health and rights to take centre stage in national and global development efforts.

Specifically, the Programme of Action called for all people to have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including voluntary family planning, safe pregnancy and childbirth services, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Despite the remarkable progress achieved since the groundbreaking ICPD in 1994, there are still millions of women and girls who have not benefited from the promise of ICPD.

“Preventable maternal deaths have declined by 40 percent, but the world is still miles from the ICPD Programme of Action’s target to reduce maternal deaths to fewer than 75 per 100,00 live births and after 25 years, 2019 will be critical for the work we do serving women and girls around the world,” a release form ICPD notes.

However, the UNFPA also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and the country representative welcomes the visit of their Deputy Executive Director of Programme to Sierra Leone.

Before joining UNFPA, Mr. Wordofa served as the International Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, of SOS Children’s Villages, a position, he provided leadership for social development programmes, with a focus on children and youth in 25 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa, while managing some 4,500 employees.

Mr. Wordofa previously held the role of Regional Director for Africa at the American Friends Service Committee, responsible for directing and leading sustainable programmes and formulating public policy and advocacy.

He was also Country Representative of Oxfam in Uganda and later became Head of the Regional Policy Team with Oxfam in the United Kingdom.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Wordofa was Deputy Programme Director with Save the Children Fund (UK) in Ethiopia.

Mr. Wordofa holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford; a Master of Science in Social Policy in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics; and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

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