BRUSSELS – UNFPA’s Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin, has called on the European Union (EU) to encourage partner countries to increase their domestic resources for health, and recognizes that official development assistance alone does not cover the funding needs for reproductive health.
UNFPA's Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin addresses the European Parliament’s Development Committee
Photo©European Union 2011
Ensuring universal access to reproductive health is difficult, he said. “More than 40 percent of countries are still not on target to reach MDG 5 to improve maternal health by 2015. Achieving target 5b – universal access to reproductive health – remains a challenge in many countries.”
“MDG 5 is lagging behind compared to other MDGs, and there is an urgent need for accelerated collective action.” He also emphasized that satisfying the unmet need for family planning and providing adequate maternal and newborn care are very cost-effective investments. Dr Osotimehin was speaking to the European Parliament’s Development Committee in Brussels on 13 July.
The Executive Director’s speech was met with expressions of acknowledgement and support of a number of Members of the Development Committee. According to MEP Michael Cashman, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the review of the attainment of the MDGs, “It is absolutely right that women, maternal mortality and infant mortality are key to the overall achievement of the MDGs.”
During his visit to Brussels, the Executive Director also met with Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, with Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner for Development and with Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
To watch the video of the presentation of the Executive Director in the Development Committee of the European Parliament, please follow this link: www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/frd/vod/player