Government of South Sudan pledges to fund ICPD commitments on sexual and reproductive health – South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan — To make a difference in the lives of young people, government funding and multisectoral action are needed to implement the nation’s commitments on sexual and reproductive health, said the Senior Vice President, Riek Machar. He was speaking at a high-level meeting on South Sudan’s commitments at the Nairobi Summit on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 2019.
“In order for us to meet the commitments, we need all departments to get involved. The government must take into account the commitments of the ICPD in the budget planning of priority programs. If we fund and implement now, we can really make a difference in the lives of our young generation and the next to come, ”he said.
With the support of UNFPA, Mr. Machar convened the meeting to review progress made on commitments made at the Nairobi Summit to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in the country. As South Sudan is on track to meet some of its commitments, the First Vice President urged line ministries to implement follow-up actions to ensure the country does not fall behind. its ICPD goals. He urged ministries to allocate funds during their annual budget planning for the implementation of commitments.
Three key actions to meet commitments The UNFPA Representative for South Sudan, Dr Mary Otieno highlighted three key actions for the government if its commitments are to be met: (1) increase the budget allocation for the health ; (2) the adoption of the youth development policy and the creation of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund; and (3) the adoption of the anti-GBV bill, the creation of a family law and the revision of the 2008 Children’s Act.
Dr Otieno stressed the importance of government ownership of commitments and pledged continued support from UNFPA in its pursuit of achieving the ICPD Program of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Health Minister Elizabeth Acuei recognized the importance of national ownership: “We need to come together as a country and commit to achieving our goals. Maternal mortality and violence against women are still high in the country and it is vital that we are all engaged for change to happen, ”she said.
South Sudan’s youthful population was at the center of the discussion, with Youth Minister Albino Bol advocating for skills development, job creation and entrepreneurship to ensure that the largest population group in the country is able to participate in nation building. About 74% of the country’s population is under 30 years old. “If we want to see a peaceful South Sudan, we need to invest in young people,” Bol said.
Budget Reforms for Greater Accountability With the Vice President’s emphasis on financing the implementation of ICPD commitments, Minister of Finance Athian Ding Athian assured that the Ministry of Finance was engaging in reforms to address accountability issues in budget execution. The ministry accepted its role as the lead government agency to monitor the progress of ICPD commitments.
The newly formed national parliament will have a crucial role to play in honoring the commitments. MP Majur Babur said it is important for lawmakers to support not only the passage of proposed ICPD laws, but also the review of the national government annual budget to ensure budget allocation for ICPD commitments. .
The high-level meeting concluded a series of consultations with key government agencies to review the status of implementation of national ICPD commitments and propose measures to ensure the country is on track to meet its goals.