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Why Nigeria can’t rely on donors’ funding, by UNFPA chief


The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama

Nigeria cannot continue to rely on donor support for family planning and lifesaving commodities, the Executive Director of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin has said.

The UNFPA chief, who is also the UN Under Secretary, is in Nigeria for a three-day visit with the Permanent Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), Mark Lowcock, to boost access to reproductive health services.

Estimates have it that DFID funds nearly 60 per cent of family planning commodities in Nigeria’s public health sector.

At a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema in Abuja, yesterday, Osotimehin said there has to be a larger commitment where the government should plan to transit out of “donor support over time.”

He called on states to step up support for life-saving interventions instead of leaving all funding and support to the Federal Government.

Osotimehin pledged the support of the UN agency for the Presidential Committee on North East Intervention, stressing that most of the support to the region would be channeled through the panel.

Onyema lamented how the insurgency in the North East was derailing the health and humanitarian situations of the people resident there.

The minister, however, maintained that government was working hard to ensure the streamlining of donor support for the region/

His word: “We have to now start being a lot more rigorous in cooperation between government and development partners. But the big question is how effective can we make that coordination.”

“As you all know, we are facing a number of challenges currently, especially in the health area, in the North East, as well as in other areas of the country. The role of your organisation is absolutely key,” Onyema said.

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