UNFPA urges conflicting parties to facilitate development

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 8:

The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) today called on all parties to the conflict in Nepal to facilitate development and humanitarian assistance, and respect human rights.

“It is vital that aid supplies reach women and children as soon as possible and access to health services is not blocked,” said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the UNFPA executive director.

“The health and safety of people must be assured. This is especially important for pregnant women so that they can deliver their babies in conditions that are safe and healthy.”

Issuing a press release here today, the UNFPA stated that one out of 24 Nepali women are at risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth, and the current level of insecurity, conflict and blockades have further heighten this risk. Around 6,000 women die each year from complications arising during pregnancy and childbirth, and most of these maternal deaths could be prevented.

The press release further stated that the conflict in Nepal is robbing women of their right to health and children of their right to education. And it is denying far too many people in Nepal the most basic human right — the right to life.

“All leaders share a common responsibility to guarantee the health and welfare of the people of Nepal and to build a lasting peace,” said Obaid.

“The needs of women and children must be given priority.”

The UNFPA is the world’s largest multilateral source of assistance to the world’s population.

Making motherhood safer for all women is at the heart of the fund’s mandate.