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UNFPA Regional Director is visiting Ukraine this week

UNFPA delegation leaded by the EECA Regional Director Mr. Heimo Laakkonen conducted a number of high-level meetings

Yesterday the Head of the office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia met with Ukraine’s Health Minister. Mr. Oleksandr Kvitashvili and Mr. Heimo Laakkonen discussed further work of UN and the Ministry, their cooperation within humanitarian field as well as reform of Ukrainian medical institutions. In particular, the Minister said that the legislative component of healthcare reform is a key to improvement of the system. However, it is important to understand that it takes a lot of time and efforts to amend certain laws in Ukraine.

On this occasion, Mr. Kvitashvili noted the important role of the Fund in development of the state reproductive health program. It could be a strong tool to achieve the objectives set in recently adopted WHO 2017-2021 European Action Plan for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.The Minister thanked the Fund for humanitarian assistance and support of medical facilities located in the east of Ukraine.

"We hope for further partnership in implementation of our joint projects", - said Mr. Laakkonen. "As the Ministry plays a key role in this process, we are grateful for its openness to our initiatives. Your readiness to discuss successes and challenges at high level speaks in favour of such approach”, - said Regional Director, finalising the meeting.

The UNFPA delegation also met with the Deputy Minister of Social Policy onEuropean integration Serhiy Ustymenko.

The Deputy Minister noted that the Ministry of Social Policy has extensiveexperience of cooperation with UNFPA office in Ukraine and expressed appreciation of for the join work.

In particular, Mr. Ustymenko mentioned UNFPA humanitarian involvement in the East of Ukraine where UNFPA funded mobile teams assist gender-based violence (GBV) survivors. Given the ongoing military conflict which triggers rise in the level of GBV incidents, representatives of the Ministry of Social Policy expressed hope that UNFPA mobile teams would continue their work in this year.

During the meeting the parties discussed priorities for further cooperation in the field of gender equality, including public awareness campaigns on gender equality andGBV, developing a national plan of action for the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 and ratification of Istanbul Convention. The Ministry and UNFPA representative also discussed priorities of further cooperation in the field of population ageing: in particular, support for intersectoral working group to develop a National Plan of Action on Ageing, reform of institutional social care for the elderly, the revision of outdated national legislation relating to the rights and interests of the elderly and etc.

Mr. Laakkonen has assured the Ministry of UNFPA further support in the identified priority areas of cooperation. "We have many opportunities for promoting efforts Minsotspolitiki as in building institutions at the national level and in local projects. The Fund is ready to strongly support Ukraine ", - noted the Regional Director.