Family Planning 2030 (FP2030), a global partnership that supports the reproductive rights of women and girls, announced on Tuesday that its new West African office is located in Abuja, Nigeria.
The agency said the newly created hub based in Abuja will be hosted by Population Council Nigeria and will serve North, West and Central Africa.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, FP2030 Executive Director Samukeliso Dube said the agency is building on the strengths and successes of FP2020 to accelerate progress in various regions.
Mr. Dube said the North, West and Central Africa regional hub will cover 30 countries in the region.
He said it will also include staff expertise in in-country engagement, youth partnerships, advocacy and accountability, high-impact family planning practices, and fundraising and communications. .
“We are accelerating progress that ensures our efforts are country-led and remain globally connected,” he said.
The situation in Nigeria
Nigeria, as the leader of the FP2030 office in West Africa, is a welcome development and could spur the Nigerian government to invest more in family planning.
Several estimates, including that of National Population Commission (NPC), estimate the population of Nigeria at over 200 million, a number that is expected to double in less than 25 years if Nigerian women continue to reproduce at the current rate.
The government foresaw a demographic crisis nearly a decade ago and identified family planning as a way to slow population growth and reduce the high rate of maternal and child mortality.
But the Nigerian government has repeatedly failed to prioritize FP and put significant numbers of women and girls of reproductive age on modern contraceptives.
This is further evident in the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari did not make provision for family planning in the 2022 draft budget.
“With a rapidly growing population rate facing the pandemic, epidemic, climate change, food insecurity and social upheavals, the entire budget does not mention any specific budget line for family planning, l birth spacing, the provision of contraceptives or the public awareness campaign on birth spacing,” said the executive director of the Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, Okai Aku, in reaction to the budget.
Health experts have warned that the lack of funding will negatively affect ongoing family planning goals and services, seen as the silver bullet to the country’s growing population.
Although Nigerian Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire later announced a commitment to allocate at least 1% of annual national and state health budgets to FP, health experts said more was needed to achieve adequate coverage.
Mr. Dube, executive director of FP2030, said the agency was optimistic about success with Population Council Nigeria as its host partner.
He said the council has been working with the Nigerian government and some health organizations in the country for more than five decades.
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He said the council is committed to meeting the needs of at-risk populations, including adolescent girls and young women, and promoting access to sexual and reproductive health, maternal health and family planning services. High quality.
Mr. Dube said a second Africa hub was being launched in Nairobi, Kenya, and will work to strengthen access to family planning and reproductive health and rights in eastern and southern Africa.
He said this was in addition to the existing North American and European hub.
“The two African hubs will be led by a managing director who will be in place by July 1 and who will oversee strategy and engagement, with Washington DC-based staff beginning to hand over their portfolio of work to regional hub staff in as long as they board.
“Both African hubs are expected to be fully operational in the third quarter of 2022,” he said.
Dube said the agency’s goal was to foster a genuine country-led process of engagement.
He said this will not only allow countries to set their own goals, but also facilitate better and more cohesive relationships with other FP2030 partners in the region, creating stronger programs and accountability.
M. said the regional hubs will put countries and regional partners in the driver’s seat to set the agenda, monitor progress and collaborate.
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