Interview: China taking lead in reproductive, maternal health, says UNFPA head

Commenting on the role China has played in helping the world to improve reproductive and maternal health, Kanem said, ” China has been a very important partner to the United Nations and to us at the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund in particular, especially for South-South cooperation.” Praising China’s contribution in sharing data on development…

by Martina Fuchs and Guo Shuang

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — China plays a crucial role in improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide and in sharing data for development information, said Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Monday.

Kanem made such statement during an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting that opened here on Monday. The meeting, themed “Cooperation in a Fragmented World,” lasts until Friday.

Commenting on the role China has played in helping the world to improve reproductive and maternal health, Kanem said, “China has been a very important partner to the United Nations (UN) and to us at the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund in particular, especially for South-South cooperation.”

“We’ve launched marvelous programs that’s helping some African countries to broaden their ability to have better maternity hospitals, midwives and clinics.”

Praising China’s contribution in sharing data on development information, Kanem said: “It’s quite a crucial partnership and we really think that it benefits a huge number of countries outside China now that the world’s population has exceeded eight billion people.”

Commenting on China’s role in boosting economic and social development, Kanem said China “has helped us examine questions that are very important, for example, gender bias … (which) hampers world productivity, the dignity and rights of women.”

“We have worked with some of the provinces in China and looked at their success stories in terms of reaching gender balance and equality, which can also be used in countries that are struggling with boy preference that exists in many, many parts around the world.”

“China supports our core funding, and also targeted interventions that we collaborate on, which are crucial for women’s health.”

The UN agency head also commended China’s victory over poverty.

Two years ago, China announced that it had secured a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty, she said, adding that, over the past decade, the country has lifted 98.99 million impoverished rural residents above the poverty line.

China’s achievement to end absolute poverty meant that the country had met the poverty eradication target set out in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ten years ahead of schedule, she said. Enditem

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