The Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Diane Keita, said the UN system in Nigeria would collaborate with youths to boost and improve the global agenda of sustainable development.
She made this known when she accompanied Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary- General’s Envoy on Youth to visit the Civic Innovation Hub in Abuja on Friday.
Keita said the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has assigned UNFPA to lead and coordinate the UN system interventions to Nigerian youths. “We will be coming to you to tell us how to make the global agenda work. We will also come to you to tell us how to make the donour agencies in the country help the youth as new generation to achieve their goals,’’ she said.
She urged the youth not to forget the younger generation, urging them to mentor the younger generation. “Teach your younger ones and your parents,’’ she advised. Earlier, the envoy Wickramanayake said the youth hub had leveraged on technology to proffer solutions to numerous problems in Nigeria.
She added that the youth had revalidated the points she had been making in the past few months of her appointment as UN Youth Envoy. Newsmen report that a cross section of youths made presentations on innovations to improve maternal and reproductive health services and other initiatives.
Mr Osage Itamah, Project Coordinator, “Education as a Vaccine Initiative’’, an NGO said that the initiative supports adolescent to address sexual and reproductive health challenges. “Over the years, we find that a lot of adolescents make poor or wrong health decisions due to lack of information and we are aware of the clichés that said Knowledge is power. “At this instance, the knowledge applied is the power,’’ he said.
According to him, statistics have shown that more than 50, 000 Nigerian girls died due to reproductive health complications and the lack of information. “The statistics also show that early marriage prevalence in Nigeria was more in northern part of Nigeria than other parts of the country, he said.
He said the initiative had leveraged on mobile phone to design applications that would improve access to information on sexual and reproductive health services to the youth. Also speaking at the occasion, Oluwaseun Ayodeji, the Founder, “Stand to Raise Initiative’’, an NGO said she came up with her organisation to address sexual and gender based violence affecting adolescent girls in the country. Ayodeji said the initiative support victims of rape to receive support through the numerous innovations of the programme.