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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, June 27, 2018 --- The Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, concluded a 24-hour visit to Haiti on June 25, 2018.


During her first visit to Haiti, Dr. Natalia Kanem met with several Haitian authorities, including the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Jude Alix Patrick Salomon, and the First Lady of Haiti, Ms. Martine Moïse, about the impact of UNFPA's cooperation programme with Haiti. In these meetings, she renewed UNFPA's commitment to support the Haitian authorities' vision of sexual and reproductive health.


Dr. Kanem, during her visit, attended the official launch of two projects funded by the Government of Canada. While one of the projects (joint UNFPA-UNICEF-UNAIDS project) concerns "the resilience of the maternal, neonatal and child health system in the departments of South and Grand'Anse (Soutwest) ;" the other relates to "strengthening the midwifery profession to save lives and promote the health of women, girls and newborns in Haiti".


"A woman must be cared for in her totality”. This is why we must emphasize the importance of access to family planning and contraception, "the Executive Director of UNFPA said, at the launching ceremony.


« The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) considers maternal health as the gateway to the health system in Haiti, with the main objectives of reducing maternal and infant mortality and strengthening access to sexual health care, » said the Director of Family Health (DSF), Dr. Reynold Grand'Pierre, said.

In Haiti, maternal mortality remains high, at 529 deaths per 100,000 live births. There are about 15% complications related to childbirth.


Other highlights of the Executive Director's visit were her lively discussions with the girls of the Haiti Adolescent Girls Network (HAGN) on issues related to violence against women and girls and her meetings with Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics (IHSI) on the fifth general census of the population and housing planned for 2019. The pilot census is underway in four departments of the country (West, Grand'Anse, South and Artibonite). The idea is to organize the exercise on a given space in order to note the flaws and make the necessary changes before launching the general census.


The Executive Director's visit to Haiti coincided with that of a delegation from UNFPA's Executive Board, which includes representatives from 36 countries around the world who serve by rotation. The Board ensures that UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS remain responsive to the changing needs of the country programme and supports UNFPA's work to create a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and the potential of each young person is fulfilled.


Dr Kanem is the fifth Executive Director of UNFPA since the Fund became operational in 1969. Its appointment by UN Secretary-General António Guterres dates back to 3 October 2017.


Natalia Kanem brings over 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of medicine, public and reproductive health, peace, social justice and philanthropy.


"The mandate of UNFPA has never been more relevant," said the new Executive Director after her appointment.