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UNFPA To Support Improved Access To Family Planning In 8 African Countries

“Eight African countries will get support to improve access to reproductive health education and services for millions of adolescent girls, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Friday” at the International Conference on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Africa, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. “Over the next three years, the agency will work with the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Tanzania to develop programs for marginalized girls and young women aged 15-19 to ensure they have access to age-appropriate sexual education that will prepare them for adult life,” the news service writes, noting, “These countries have some of the fastest growing populations in the world” (Mis, 8/2). “Seventy percent of Africa is less than 30 years old. So, we need to ensure that every life and every young person has access to all that their health and education requires to enable them to reach their full potential,” UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said about the initiative, according to VOA News. Osotimehin “said that educated and healthy girls are more likely to delay having children; have healthier children when they do; and earn higher incomes,” the news service writes (DeCapua, 8/2). In related news, Devex examines how African “governments fared in their commitments to increase domestic health spending and scale up local efforts to fight these infectious diseases,” highlighting a report (.pdf) released ahead of the Abuja+12 summit in mid-July (Ocampo, 8/5).