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Madagascar, Antananarivo, 31 May 2022 -- the Government of Norway committed NOK 45,000,000 (about 4,76 million USD) through UNFPA in Madagascar to promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. The programme dubbed “Improved access to Sexual, Reproductive Health and Rights for youth in Madagascar”, will run for a period of three years, from 2022 to 2025.

A funding agreement to that effect was signed today between the Government of Norway, represented by the Minister-Counsellor of the Norwegian Embassy office in Antananarivo, Mr Andreas DANEVAD and the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, represented by the Representative for Madagascar and Country Director for Comoros, Seychelles and Mauritius, Mr Koffi KOUAME.
Through this funding, tailor-made services will be provided for young people to enable them to exercise their rights to sexual and reproductive health information and services, particularly through comprehensive sexuality education, leadership skills and resilience building.

According to the Minister Counsellor, Mr Andreas DANEVAD, “Protecting and promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are high priorities in Norwegian development policy. We hope that our support will increase awareness among adolescents and young people about the importance of family planning and better prepare them to make wise decisions of great importance for their future.”
The programme is expected to contribute to reducing adolescent pregnancy and maternal mortality and harnessing the demographic dividend. It also seeks to increase the number of new users of modern contraceptive methods among young people for healthier and betterinformed choices and to strengthen the capacities of adolescents and young people in bodily autonomy.

While Madagascar experiences one of the highest poverty rates in the world with 75 percent of the population living below the $1.90 per day threshold, 62.8 percent of the population is made up of young people under the age of 25. According to the 2018 Population and Housing Census (PHC), 75.1 percent of adolescents aged 15 to 19 and 76.7 percent of young people aged 20 to 24 are affected by poverty and exposed to discrimination, exclusion and limited access to basic social services including health and education.

“We are talking about slightly over 16 million young men and women, boys and girls who need empowerment to be able to make informed decisions for themselves and their families,” said Mr Koffi KOUAME, underscoring the crucial need for integrated adolescent reproductive health, including interventions on sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Although the country has experienced an increase of modern contraceptive prevalence from 33 percent to 43 percent between 2012 and 2021, many women and young people are still unable to access contraception and the overall unmet need for family planning remains high at 15 percent, while it stands at 13 % for adolescents.

“This support will place the right tools and resources at the disposal of those most in need, not only to ensure they lead healthier and fulfilled lives but that they achieve their full potential. A healthy population is a key indicator and pillar for sustainable development. UNFPA remains very grateful to the Government of Norway for this continuous support to advancing UNFPA’s transformative results and the global UN sustainable development goals. Together we are making concrete the commitment to Leave No One Behind.” Mr Koffi KOUAME added.

For more information, please contact: 

For UNFPA in Madagascar:
▪ Ms Melvis KIMBI: International Communication Consultant - +261 32 23 635 08;
▪ Ms Hanta ANDREMANISA, Communication Specialist - +261 32 07 845 12;

For the Embassy of Norway:
▪ Mr Rija EMADISSON, Program Officer - +261 34 91 234 14

About UNFPA:
UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, quality maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.

About the Government of Norway:
Norway is a strong supporter of UNFPA providing financial support for efforts to promote rightsbased adolescent and youth development; programmes to end child marriage and teenage pregnancies; initiatives that enhance reproductive health and rights; and efforts to combat gender-based violence, including in humanitarian settings. Funding from Norway also supports UNFPA Supplies and the Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting at the global level.