Access Bank commemorates 50th anniversary of UNPFA ahead of Nairobi summit
The event was themed “Sustainable Population Growth, Demographic Dividend and the Future of Nigeria: The Role of the Private Sector.”
The United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) has been at the forefront of the remarkable progress the world has seen in reproductive health care for women and youth. There has been a sharp decline in global maternal mortality and adolescent births have fallen considerably. Formed in 1969, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency is marking its 50th anniversary this year.
The agency also facilitated the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which held in Cairo, Egypt, in September of that year. The global recognition that reproductive health, gender equality and human rights are central to development is part of the achievements of the conference. UNPFA has announced that the international community will gather in Kenya for the ICPD’s Nairobi Summit in November 2019 to advance its goals. The summit will effectively mark the 25th anniversary of the ICPD.
UNPFA said despite the progress that has been made in terms of women's reproductive health care, hundreds of millions of women around the world are still not using modern contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Also, global targets on reducing maternal deaths have not been met. There are also a number of population issues that still persist, 25 years after the Cairo conference, such as immigration, infant mortality, the education of women, and so forth.
As part of Access Bank Plc's award-winning sustainability strategy, the bank has several women empowerment initiatives, including the Maternal Health Service Support (MHSS). The discounted financing product has improved the lives of many women and their families by facilitating their access to fertility treatments, natal care, and specialised procedures.
Access Bank commemorated the 50th and 25th anniversaries of UNPFA and ICPD, respectively, last month at an event, which held at the bank’s head office in Lagos. The one-day event on June 18 was themed “Sustainable Population Growth, Demographic Dividend and the Future of Nigeria: The Role of the Private Sector.”
Discussions at the event focused on harnessing demographic dividend through investment in youth. The event also explored the role of the private sector in achieving sustainable population growth. Indeed, the private sector can deliver high development impact by supporting reproductive health programmes for women and girls in Nigeria.
The opening remark was delivered on behalf of the Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, by Head of Sustainability, Access Bank, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan. She congratulated UNFPA for the great impact the agency has achieved in the last 50 years in improving the lives of women and girls. She said sustainability is about creating shared value for all, especially women and girls, whose role shapes communities and controls societal narratives.
Some of the notable organisations at the event included Coca-Cola Nigeria, Bovas and Company, Microsoft Nigeria, Oando Foundation, HACEY Health Initiative and Nigerian Breweries. The event also brought together key stakeholders in sustainability, population experts, diplomats and private sector stakeholders.
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