UNFPA Pacific Sub-regional team with Minister of Health Tuitama Leao Dr Talalelei Tuitama. PC: UNDP/Gerard Anapu.
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 06 FEBRUARY 2018 – A technical team from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sub-Regional office based in Fiji, visited Samoa last week to discuss how best to support the country’s national priorities in relation to population and development.
Through the UN Pacific Strategy (2018-2022) and UNFPA’s new Country Programme for Samoa, UNFPA will continue to provide technical and programmatic support in improving the lives of women, adolescents and youth in Samoa. The mission bilateral meetings and round table consultations led by the Ministry of Finance was useful to finalize the Samoa Country Work Plan for 2018.
The mission also provided the opportunity for partners to discuss in details key areas of investment where UNFPA support will add value and strategic partnerships, including with NGOs, to contribute to Samoa’s overall development and the achievement of the SDGs and the 2030 agenda. In the spirit of the SAMOA Pathway, the team’s visit to development partners also helped to strengthen points of collaboration and strengthening of partnerships in Samoa.
UNFPA congratulated the Government of Samoa on the launch of the National Population Policy Action Plan 2016-2019, where strong political commitment is made to addressing population concerns. The plan of action focuses specifically on improving outcomes across all sectors such as improve maternal and child health, improve health in all communities, strengthen social services in the Apia Urban Area and north-west Upolu districts, encourage growth in the number of skilled workers and people with tertiary education, strengthen support for the needs of youth, women, persons with disability and the elderly, enhancing information sharing and collaboration and integration of population issues in national planning processes.
Speaking on behalf of the team in expressing gratitude and stressing the importance of the work being done was Bruce Campbell, Director and Representative of UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office. He stated that the meetings were very productive and very informative of what the Samoan people and government expect from UNFPA.
“Samoa faces a historical moment in time, as it will be one of the first UN member states to prepare a comprehensive SDG report in 2019, and we look forward to that report demonstrating a clear picture of the development achievements and challenges ahead,” said Campbell.
“Whatever those challenges may be, UNFPA is committed to joining in partnership together with, line Ministries, NGOs, sister UN agencies and the broader development community to support Samoa in line with its National Development Strategy and Population Action Plan,” he added.
Extending a warm welcome and gratitude to the team was Tuitama Dr Leao Talalelei Tuitama, the Minister of Health for Samoa. He acknowledged the efforts of the team and elaborated on the needs and priorities of Samoa that could be addressed through the programme.
“It is vital that health promotion and prevention programmes are included in some aspect of this workplan as education is key to the people making informed decisions with regards to their health”, said Tuitama.
“I believe that it is also important to get our targets right to ensure the effectiveness of any given programme” – added Dr Tuitama.
The programme will start the implementation as soon as the 2018 workplan is officially approved by Samoa.