Press Release

UNFPA Pacific Director reaffirms the agency’s support to the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia under the new 5-Year Programme

21 October 2023

POHNPEI, the Federated States of Micronesia

Lori Kato, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Director for the Pacific Sub-Regional Office (PRSO) and Representative in Fiji, presented his introductory letter from the UNFPA Executive Director to the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), through Hon. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Lorin S. Robert, during his recent first visit to the country.  UNFPA Pacific Director reiterated the agency’s commitment to accelerating its assistance to the national government and four states of FSM, throughout the course of the implementation of UNFPA’s new 7th five-year Multi-Country Programme for 14 Pacific countries and territories, including FSM, for 2023-2027 (MCP7).

Following the meeting with the Foreign Secretary, UNFPA Pacific Director Kato had an audience with His Excellency the President Mr. Wesley Simina and Honourable Vice President Mr. Aren Palik on 4 October 2023 at the Office of the President in Palikir, Pohnpei.  He was accompanied by Head of UNFPA Micronesia Multi-Country Office in Pohnpei, Ms. Evelyn Adolph, and UNFPA Pacific Chief of Health, Dr. Titiola Duro-Aina.  

During the courtesy call, Director Kato shared that UNFPA’s assistance to FSM under MCP7 will continue focusing on ending ‘unmet need for family planning’ with a view to reducing teenage pregnancies, including through supporting the roll-out of Family Life Education (comprehensive sexuality education) in- and out-of-schools.  These interventions will be augmented by funding support from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to UNFPA’s multi-country, multi-year family planning programme entitled the Transformative Agenda, which has newly included FSM as one of its programme countries in its Phase II that is starting this year till 2027.  

Director Kato also underscored UNFPA’s readiness to intensify its support to other priorities, such as eradicating preventable maternal deaths, reducing cervical cancer cases, and also towards strengthening the health sector’s response to gender-based violence (GBV) and mental health and psycho-social support, at all times, including during emergencies such as climate-crisis and health pandemics.  UNFPA will also continue its technical support to FSM in enriching the amount and quality of data related to population dynamics and ‘demographic dividend’ including for the follow-up to the Population Census, by closely working with other relevant UN agencies such as UNICEF. 

His Excellency President Simina told the UNFPA Pacific Director that the FSM government is appreciative of UNFPA Pacific’s past support to the country. The President and Honourable Vice President Palik both welcomed UNFPA's continued support in the years to come under the new Programme, especially for empowerment of adolescents and youth, given the increasing mobility of young people and working-age population.  They agreed on the need for further strengthening the country’s health systems for sexual, reproductive and maternal health services, particularly in remote outer islands, especially to reduce teen pregnancy, maternal deaths, and cervical cancer. They also expressed interest in the continued partnership between FSM and UNFPA in strengthening community resilience against disasters and health pandemics.

During his first stay in Pohnpei from 2-6 October, UNFPA Pacific Director Kato also undertook consultations with Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management, Mr. Andrew Yatilman, Honourable Secretary of Resources and Development, Ms Elina P. Akinaga, Honourable Acting Secretary of Health and Social Affairs, Mr. Moses Pretrick, Honourable Acting Secretary of Education, Mr Wayne Mendiola, and other officials.

Director Kato also formally handed over IT equipment and furniture to the Pohnpei State Government, to make the clinic at Pohnpei Island Central School more friendly and accessible for adolscents and youth. He also visited the Kolonia Elementary School in Pohnpei, and interacted with students and teachers as to how they are benefitting from the Family Life Education that has been rolled out in the school with UNFPA assistance.  He also visited Pohnpei State Hospital and consulted on potential UNFPA support especially to eliminate preventable maternal deaths, even in remotest outer islands.

UNFPA Pacific Director also visited and consulted with the resident Development Partners in FSM, including the Embassies of Australia, Japan and U.S.A.

Caption: H.E. President Mr. Wesley Simina and Hon. Vice President Mr. Aren Palik received UNFPA Pacific Director Iori Kato and his team, along with UN Resident Coordinator in Micronesia Mr. Jaap van Hierden, on 4 October 2023 at the Office of the President, Palikir, Pohnpei State.
Photo: © UNFPA

Navinesh Kumar


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