Sweden and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) signed a bilateral agreement to support UNFPA’s efforts to strengthen the quality and access to midwives and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services (SRHR) in Bangladesh.
Under the deal, Sweden will provide the UNFPA with $10 million to implement the project in the next four years.
The deal was signed at the Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka in the presence of Alexandra Berg von Linde, the Ambassador of Sweden to Bangladesh, and the Representative of UNFPA, Bangladesh Kristine Blokhus.
Through the Swedish funding, UNFPA aims to equip Bangladesh’s health system with competent and empowered midwives to ensure that women and girls can access gender-transformative health care, said a press release.
The government has trained 2,550 midwives while 300 midwives are deployed through NGOs across the country, the release added. They serve in crises including floods, cyclones, and in refugee situations. More midwives are needed to give safe and accessible care to mothers and children in Bangladesh, it added.
The Swedish ambassador Alexandra Berg von Linde said that this new four-year project will improve the education of midwives and the quality and access to SRHR services, make healthcare environmentally resilient, and ultimately improve the health of women and children in Bangladesh.
Thanking the governments of Bangladesh and Sweden, the UNFPA Representative, Kristine Blokhus said that “With this agreement, we begin a new chapter in our long partnership. Together we will continue our support to the government of Bangladesh in ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, and every childbirth is safe.”