AFRICA – European and African partners are joining forces to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Africa, particularly among adolescent girls and young women, to empower and enable them to reach their full potential.

The initiative was launched in Kigali, Rwanda, and will enhance coordination and collaboration among partners.

It is also a key action under the EU-Africa Global Gateway package and the EU Global Health Strategy.

While important progress has already been made to advance SRHR in Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong negative impact and significant challenges remain.

Further action is needed to make available information on SRHR, goods and services and accelerate progress on key issues such as family planning, the fight against gender-based violence, harmful practices, maternal mortality, as well as sexual health and well-being.

The initiative builds on a joint analysis of gaps, needs, and lessons learnt, and prioritises  areas where a regional perspective can complement global and country level investments.

It will focus on increasing the implementation of continental and regional commitments on SRHR in the health and education sector, improving the availability, affordability and acceptability of quality-assured SRHR goods for all, especially women and girls, and strengthening advocacy and accountability to ensure SRHR needs are met.

“In line with the new EU Global Health Strategy, empowering women, girls and young people by investing in their health and education is key to building prosperous and inclusive societies,” said Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships.

“I am proud to launch, as a key follow-up of the AU-EU Summit, this Africa–EU partnership initiative and collaborative framework to advance our shared, strong commitment to realise sexual and reproductive health and rights for all and ensure that we deliver with more impact where it is needed.”

The intention is to ensure a wide and balanced coverage across Western, Central, Eastern and Southern African countries.

The initiative brings together under one logic new and ongoing regional and country SRHR programmes, whose coordination it will enhance, increasing their impact and contributing to development effectiveness.

Funding from the EU budget notably includes €60 million in new funds for 2023–2027 and EU Member States are expected to make significant new financial commitments in the coming years in line with the above objectives.

The initiative has been developed by the European Commission, the EU Member States Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands and Sweden, and three African Regional Economic Communities: the East African Community (EAC), the West African Health Organization (WAHO) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

It will be taken forward in partnership with a wide range of additional stakeholders, including governments, civil society organisations, private sector, academic institutions, and the United Nations.

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