UNFPA projects unveiled PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:19

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) yesterday officially turned over to the local government unit various projects related to reproductive health and gender-based violence response.

The turnover was done after the signing of deeds of donation for the Women Friendly Spaces in Masepla and Buggoc Transitory sites and Arena Blanco, barangay violence against women desk at Sta. Catalina and reproductive health equipment of barangay health stations in Mampang, Talukasangay and Kasanyangan—held at the City Hall conference room.

UNFPA Country Representative Klaus Beck spearheaded the signing ceremony with the different partner agencies with Mayor Climaco as witness. Partner agencies included City Social Welfare Office under Socorro Rojas, Arena Blanco Barangay Council led by Chair Mujib Abduljussin, Sta. Catalina barangay council led by chair Jimmy Villaflores and the City health Office represented by Dr. Kibtiya Uddin. Other witnesses included Social Welfare Director Zenaida Arevalo, Dr. Joshua Brillantes of the Department of Health, Fr. Adriano Ruiz and Florence Tayzon.

Beck said the turnover of  projects and equipment “affirms UNFPA’s belief in the capacity of the City Government not only to restore what was destroyed by the infamous siege but, true to its dictum to build back better Zamboanga. It symbolizes UNFPA’s faith in the resilience of Zamboangueños.”

“This is not to say that we are content with what we have achieved. The conditions of the 25,000 evacuees still living in evacuation centers and transitory sites require durable solutions,” he stated pointing out that access to health remains a key concern, especially for the Badjaos whose poor health seeking behaviour and  health practices led to  maternal and child mortality and morbidity.

There are also protection issues for women and girls in evacuation centers especially at the grandstand that should be addressed, he cited.

The UNFPA has been helping in the Zamboanga response ever since with support to reproductive health and GVB response.

For her part, Mayor Beng Climaco thanked the UNFPA and other humanitarian agencies assisting in the Zamboanga response even as she acknowledged the fact that the crisis in the city is far from over.

She stressed much remains to be done in the recovery and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and the areas affected by the 2013 siege.  — Sheila Covarrubias