By Philip Yatai

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Thursday it would continue to support Kaduna State Government efforts to achieve its selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3 and 5 indicators.

SDGs 3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, while Goal 5 hopes to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The Resident Representative, UNFPA Nigeria Country Office, Ms Ulla Mueller, made the commitment in Kaduna, at the 2022 Kaduna State SDGs Summit 2.0.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised by the SDGs Unit, Planning and Budget Commission, to increase awareness, renew commitment, and mobilise resources to accelerate the achievement of the goals.

Mueller, who was represented by Dr Chris Macauley, Head of Office, UNFPA Maiduguri Sub-Office, commended the state government for organising the summit, which she described as “model and trail blazer” in the country.

She pointed out that Kaduna State was the only subnational government that consistently monitored the SDGs and diligently worked towards the attainment.

“Specifically, we will be supporting the state to improve on its selected SDG 3 and 5 indicators, that is, unmet need for modern methods of child spacing and percentage of girls aged 20 to 24 who were married before the age of 18.

“For us in UNFPA, our unwavering commitment to all the goals is prejudiced on its link to the attainment of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action.

“This is based on our vision to deliver a world where no woman dies giving birth, where unmet need for child spacing commodity and GBV/ harmful practices becomes a thing of the past by 2030,” she said.

She added that UNFPA had over the years, provided human and material resources to the state towards its drive to attain universal access to health, especially sexual reproductive health and rights, including reduction of gender-based violence.

She said that the UN body had equally delivered a home-grown youth policy and demographic dividend road map, to enable the state to invest and harness its youth potentials.

Mueller also said that UNFPA built the capacity of health workers and programme officers to be able to deliver the SDG goals.

She further said the Fund equally reintegrated adolescent girls left behind, back into the mainstream of educational pursuit.

She said that the summit would guide the state’s goal of achieving a virile human capital growth and socio-economic transformation.

This, according to her, will translate into substantial improvement in the quality of lives of residents of the state.

“I wish to reaffirm UNFPA’s commitment to the existing partnership with the Kaduna State Government.

“We are not only committed to do much more, but we are committed to accelerate this through human rights-based and innovative gender transformative approaches in partnership with all stakeholders.

“We will leave no stone unturned until together, we achieve the goal of zero maternal death, zero unmet need for child spacing and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices, as we pursue the agenda of leaving no one behind to achieve the SDGs.”