GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISSHU: Over one million children and women in Somalia will benefit from improved access to maternal, newborn and children health care services thanks to a $ 9 million donation by the government of Sweden.
The Swedish embassy in Mogadishu announced Tuesday the contribution will strengthen health care and protection services for Somali women and children in partnership with UNICEF.
“Children deserve to have a healthy start in life and to grow up in a safe environment where their protection rights are upheld,” said Ambassador Staffan Tillander, the Swedish Ambassador to Somalia. “This funding will strengthen access to essential health and protection services and underscores Sweden’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of Somali women and children.”
The funding will also support the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in the country, ambassador Tillander said. “It is critical that we scale up the COVID-19 vaccination campaign to reach the most vulnerable populations and frontline workers in Somalia. The fight against COVID-19 is a global one and part of this funding will help support UNICEF and WHO to speed up the vaccination effort so that the second wave of COVID-19 is contained,” added the Ambassador.
Somalia has received 300,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination from the COVAX facility, and only 40% of the doses have been administered.
The ambassador noted the funds will enable WHO and UNICEF to improve cold chain capacity and support the government in training health workers on administering the vaccine safely, monitoring vaccine utilization and accountability through stock management and reporting.
UNICEF acting representative in Somalia Jesper Moller welcomed the contribution noting it will be instrumental in bolstering efforts to keeping children healthy and safe in Somalia.
“UNICEF is extremely grateful to the Government of Sweden for this generous contribution,” said Moller. “Every child has a right to health and protection. This multi-year funding provides us with the much-needed opportunity to work harder on long-term solutions and do more to keep Somali children and their families healthy and safe especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”