Ministry of Health, UNFPA launch the National Family Planning Strategy
22 November 2020; Baghdad, Iraq - The Minister of Health, Dr Hasan Al-Tamimi, launched today the National Family Planning Strategy (2021-2025), developed with the support of UNFPA and funding from Canada and Sweden and in consultation with many stakeholders, including women and youth to ensure that their rights and needs are well addressed.
The launch of the strategy is a strategic initiative as family planning is one of the most cost-effective strategies to reduce maternal and infant mortality, adolescent’s pregnancies, and contribute to the well-being of women, their education and even livelihood.
Exactly one year ago at the Nairobi Summit on the International Conference on Population & Development (ICPD), Iraq made commitments to reduce adolescents pregnancies, increase access to family planning, reduce maternal mortality and GBV, and increase livelihood opportunities for young people. If fulfilled, these commitments will support the nation in harnessing the demographic dividend and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
During his speech, Minister Al-Tamimi said: “The National Family Planning Strategy will provide families, women and young people opportunities to build their future with confidence. It will help Iraqis organise their families better, plan financially for a better future and will reduce the burden of the health system. We thank all our partners, the different directorates, the UN Agencies, especially UNFPA for supporting the Ministry’s team in the development of this strategy that will hopefully improve the livelihoods of individuals.”
Commenting on the importance of the strategy, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia, said: “In Iraq, the Adolescent Fertility rate is still among the highest in the region (70/1,000 adolescent girls); but the use of modern contraceptives is about 36%. It means that many couples and individuals who need family planning services do not have access to them, which violates their reproductive rights.”
“UNFPA will continue to support the Ministry of Health at the Federal and Kurdistan Region levels with the strategy implementation. Our focus will be to ensure the strategy has a costed multisectoral people-based implementation plan, to strengthen the capacity of the public healthcare system to provide voluntary, high-quality family planning services, to improve the supply chain management and ensure the last mile delivery and to put the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people and people with disabilities in the centre of health and population policies,” she added.
Through the entire process of strategy development, UNFPA worked closely with and provided technical support to the team of the Ministry of Health. UNFPA will continue to support the Government of Iraq during the implementation phase to ensure that all families and women can benefit from family planning services that are available, accessible, acceptable and high quality.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. For more information or media inquiries, please contact Ms Salwa Moussa, Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org