Sweden partners with UNFPA in projects worth over $10 million
UNFPA and Sweden on Sunday launched and signed a new partnership agreement to support midwives and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Bangladesh.
The signing ceremony for the new project was held at the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka in the presence of Alexandra Berg von Linde, Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh, and Kristine Blokhus, UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh.
The partnership aims to support UNFPA’s efforts to strengthen the quality of and access to midwifery and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRHR) services in Bangladesh, including in the most remote areas affected by change. climatic.
The new collaboration between Sweden and UNFPA, with funding of over US$10 million for the period 2022-2026, will establish and strengthen comprehensive midwifery-led SRHR services to support government efforts in Bangladesh.
Currently, about 2550 midwives are deployed by the government and 300 midwives are deployed through NGOs. They serve in crises such as floods, cyclones and in refugee situations.
They provide life-saving support and SRHR services with innovative methods such as telemedicine. More midwives are needed to provide safe and accessible care to mothers and children in Bangladesh.
With Swedish funding, UNFPA aims to equip Bangladesh’s health system with skilled and empowered midwives to ensure that women and girls can access the gender-transformative healthcare to which they are entitled.
This care will include support for safe and wanted pregnancies and births, prevention and response to sexual violence, and prevention and treatment of reproductive infections and cancers.
Midwives will also ensure access to SRHR services in the most remote and climate-affected areas.
Swedish Ambassador Linde said Sweden has a long history of midwifery and has been supporting midwives in Bangladesh for more than a decade.
“We are excited to continue working with UNFPA and the Government of Bangladesh to further strengthen midwifery care in the country,” she said.
The envoy hopes this new four-year project will improve midwifery education and the quality of and access to SRHR services, to make health care environmentally resilient and ultimately improve the health of women and children in Bangladesh.
UNFPA Representative Kristine Blokhus said the generous and long-term support we have received from the Swedish government over the past decade has enabled us to assist the Ministry of Health in Bangladesh to develop a framework professional midwives trained to international standards – and integrating these vital human resources into the national health system.
“We are deeply grateful to the Swedish government, which for many years has been a close ally of UNFPA in our mission to protect and improve the lives of women and girls by providing comprehensive and life-saving SRHR services.
Blokhus said that with this partnership, they are starting a new chapter in their long partnership. “Together, we will continue our support for the Government of Bangladesh in ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted and every childbirth is safe.”