The contribution is intended to help UNFPA’s efforts to strengthen quality and availability of sexual and reproductive health services in Bangladesh during Covid-19
The Swedish government has committed a grant of six million Swedish kronor - around $725,000 - to support the Covid-19 response of the UNFPA, the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, in Bangladesh.
The new donation takes the total Swedish contribution to UNFPA Bang;adesh to 127 million Swedish kronor - approximately $15.5 million - during the 2017-2022 period, says a press release issued by UNFPA Bangladesh on Thursday.
The latest grant is intended to support the UN agency’s efforts to strengthen the quality and availability of sexual and reproductive health services in Bangladesh during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To this end, an agreement was signed by Alexandra Berg von Linde, ambassador of Sweden to Bangladesh, and Dr Asa Torkelsson, representative of the UNFPA in Bangladesh, during a ceremony held at the Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka on Thursday.
The ongoing lockdown situation in Bangladesh poses a particular threat to the health of women and adolescent girls, which is why it is essential that reproductive health needs are addressed in the collective response to the pandemic, the statement said.
The UNFPA said the new grant would be used to continue and expand its Covid-19 response, including the deployment of a hundred additional roving midwives to health facilities throughout Bangladesh to ensure the availability of maternal and newborn health services in vulnerable communities.
The availability of remote reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services would also be improved through the establishment of new telemedicine and emergency hotline services, it added.
“Furthermore, the grant will be used to strengthen existing referral systems for pregnant mothers and to establish infection prevention and control, as well as triaging systems in separate maternity areas of health facilities,” reads the media release.
Ambassador Alexandra Berg von Linde said: “We are happy to continue this partnership with the UNFPA. Our support is part of the long-term commitment that Sweden has to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights in Bangladesh.”
“We express our deepest gratitude to the government of Sweden for the generous support they have continued to show to the UNFPA’s efforts to protect the lives of women, adolescent girls and newborns during the Covid-19 [pandemic],” said UNFA representative Asa Torkelsson.
“Together, we will continue to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled despite the challenges posed by this pandemic,’’ she added.