UNFPA signs letter of intent

Published: Monday | April 6, 2009

Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Coordinator

Harold Robinson (left), director of UNFPA Sub-regional Office for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, receives the signed letter of intent from Lucella Campbell, senior programme advisor, International Planned Parenthood Federation (Western Hemisphere), while Julia Roberts, country director, Population Services International Caribbean, looks on. - Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer

You know what they say: there is strength in numbers and many hands make hard work light. Great things are, therefore, expected from the signing of a letter of intent between the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Population Services International (PSI). The signing took place at UNFPA's office on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston last Monday.

The partnership is geared towards improving the supply and demand for both male and female condoms in the Caribbean to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

Another part of the goal is to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. Senior Programme Advisor for IPPF, Lucella Campbell, noted that what is needed is a shift in human consciousness.

Making choices

"That would make more permanent, all of the many initiatives aimed at addressing the spread of this disease. It takes a recognition at the individual level that we are in this together." She continued that realising our vulnerability presents us with choices.

"The choices that we make at all levels - individual, family, community, institutional, national, global - will give us the outcome that will be our experience in curbing the spread of this disease or not." Harold Robinson, director of UNFPA Sub-regional office for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, describes the partnership as: "Our commitment to use our collective resources to support the governments of the region in their efforts to end poverty."

He noted that too many persons in the region don't have access to the information, services and support they need to escape poverty and enjoy a healthy life. "We believe this partnership will allow us to effectively tackle this weakness."

He told Flair that though there are still some challenges, Jamaica and the Caribbean are well on their way to meeting the 2015 target. "The Caribbean and Jamaica have made enormous strides, and while we still have some difficulty in reaching some segments of the population, the goal is 'reachable'."

"We believe this partnership will allow us to effectively tackle this weakness." - Robinson