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UNFPA donates to Health Ministry

The United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA has donated a Land Cruiser Jeep, six Yamaha motorbikes, three tricycles and assorted boxes of health kits and resource materials to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Monrovia for the promotion of reproductive health, specifically in Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee counties. UNFPA Country Representative Ms. Ratidzai Ndhlovu presented the items Wednesday, 5 March during a brief ceremony at the Health Ministry in Congo Town.

UNFPA Country Representative Ms. Ratidzai Ndlovu makes remarks as Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bernice Dahn and Deputy Health Minister for Administration Matthews Flomo listen

Ms. Ndhlovu noted that in 2013, Liberia was among six countries that received a grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through the H4+ partnership in the tune of USD 6 million to help countries accelerate efforts toward achieving MDGs 4 & 5.

UNFPA is the financial agent for the grant in all six countries, according to her, adding, “In Liberia, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the coordinating agency for the implementation of the grant which is executed by UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF, UNWOMEN and UNAIDS.” Liberia received the disbursement of USD 3.5 in July 2013, for the first 18-month period.

Ms Ndhlovu said the SIDA’s support is both catalytic and gap-filling as the H4+ Agencies have already committed resources to the Government of Liberia through the UNDAF to the Ministry of Health, to support efforts aimed at reducing maternal and newborn mortality, saying to avoid duplication of efforts while leveraging the agency’s comparative advantage, each member of the H4+ in Liberia has been assigned special tasks under the project.

She said UNFPA’s support under the H4+ grant is aimed enhancing County Health Teams’ logistical capacity to respond to the health needs of women and their children in order to improve access to and utilization of RH services, including family planning; improving the availability of much needed drugs and medical supplies; strengthening the supply chain systems at county level to ensure the availability of much needed drugs and supplies including family planning commodities, and strengthening two health training institutions to increase the number and availability of quality maternal health workforce to deliver comprehensive maternal and neo-natal health services.

In response, Deputy Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer of the Republic of Liberia Dr. Bernice Dahn commended the UNFPA for the donation and disclosed that the Government of Liberia has approved an Accelerated Action Plan for the health sector, with an estimated cost of US$8 Million.

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Dr. Dahn said the three counties were chosen due to their far distances from Monrovia, and added that as the 2015 deadline approaches for the Millennium Development Goals, the government is redoubling its efforts in the health sector.

Deputy Health Minister Matthews Flomo, who received the key to the brand new vehicle, on behalf of Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, thanked the UNFPA Representative for the assistance, saying, “We cannot overemphasize how gratified we are to receive this donation.”

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