KOICA funds family planning, SRH
The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has funded a USD 3.5 million for family planning and sexual and reproductive health programs to be implemented in Guji and Gedeo zone of Oromia and Southern regional states.
The integrated program on family planning and sexual and reproductive health among adolescents and youth, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was launched at Hawassa on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, in the presence of regional bureau heads.
The five year program is expected to complement effort s at strengthening the capacity of adolescents and young people to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
On the launching event, Seunghwan Shin, Deputy resident representative of KOICA in Ethiopia said: “As the majority of the population in Ethiopia is youth and the challenges they are facing in terms of their sexual reproductive health is huge, this project would like to tackle the issues regarding the sexual and reproductive health of youths in this two areas, which we believe will made a great effect on the future well-being of the society of Ethiopia. Beside this, we are aiming to strengthen our support to the Ethiopian government, especially in the health sector.”
Explaining specifically on their next aim in the sector, Shin said: “We are supporting Iteya town in Arsi zone Oromia region, we are also supporting 20 health centers in Arsi zone administration, to extend their basic health services and we are also planning to establish a primary health hospital in the region.”
Bettina Maas, UNFPA country representative, on her behalf said: “It is very important to really tackle access to sexual interactive family planning and also gender based violence services and protection of adolescence and young people. So this program agreement between KOICA and UNFPA supports these efforts,” she said adding: “The program will bolster efforts to strengthen key social behavior change communication platforms to enhance service seeking behaviors.”
According to UNFPA’s statement, the program will target a total of 100,000 most at risk adolescent and youth groups, in the age group of 10-29 years which will engage school and out of school youth, with a special emphasis to adolescents aged 10-14, most at risk groups including female sex workers, street adolescent & youth, domestic workers, young people with disability, youth living with HIV, and seasonal migrant workers in mega project areas.
The current conflicts in the two zones which has resulted in thousands of displaced peoples, has increased the vulnerability of adolescence and youth to HIV, sexually transmitted infections and other sexual and reproductive health problems and sexual and gender based violence.
“Because of this, the existing health system and services has been seriously weekend by the situation impacting access to sexual and reproductive health information, counseling and services. So, this program strives that the needs of adolescence especially young girls who are vulnerable to sexual violence are addressed in a meaningful way,” read the statement from UNFPA.
The Ethiopian demographic and health survey 2016, estimates Ethiopia has a youthful population with 45 percent of the country's population being below the age of 15 and 22 percent of the population being between the ages of 15 and 24. Adolescents aged 10-14 years and young people between the ages of 15 and 19 years, constitute 14 percent and 12 percent of the total population, respectively.