The Mano River Union (MRU) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen partnership for improved maternal and newborn health and youth development in the sub-region.
A UNFPA’s press release says the MOU was signed in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea during the International Conference on Africa’s Fight Against Ebolaheld 20-21 July under the theme,Africa Helping Africans in the Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction.
Vice President Joseph N. Boakai represented Liberia at the conference. According to the MOU, both parties agree to work on a collective response to challenges related to the impact of Ebola on maternal, newborn and adolescent health as well as youth development within the framework of harnessing the demographic dividend for sustainable development.
“Through the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding, MRU and UNFPA want to demonstrate that short and long partnerships will ensure that within the MRU countries: every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”
UNFPA and MRU have had a history of working together. In 2005, the MRU Secretariat engaged UNFPA in a programme that addressed cross border issues related to the control of HIV/AIDS among refugees, Internally Displaced Population (IDPs) and their host communities in the Mano River Basin.
In May 2015 under similar partnership arrangement, UNFPA, under the overall coordination of the three MRU countries affected by Ebola and the MRU Secretariat, is implementing the “Mano River Midwifery Response” (MRMR) initiative which aims at building resilient health systems with a focus on establishing a strong midwifery workforce placed primarily in health centers, organized in midwife-led units with strong links to the communities and to referral facilities. Press Release