Namibia Reaffirms Its Commitment to the Implementation of the SDGs

The 25th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held on 12 to 14 November in Kenya, , where Lucia Iipumbu, Namibia's Head of Delegation reaffirmed her commitment to the implementation of the SDGs and elements of the ICPD Programme of Action that are consistent with local National Statutes and development priorities.

She said that Namibia is an upper middle-income country with a population of 2.4 million in 2018 and a projected annual growth of 1.9%, with a bulging youth population, the government is implementing pro-poor policies and programmes that are pro-youth and gender responsive, in order to reap a demographic dividend.

"We believe the health and education of women, men, adolescents and children is fundamental to our development, therefore to this end the governments spends close to 14% of public expenditure on the public health system at an average U$450 per capita and close to 25% on education at all levels," she added.

According to Iipumbu strides are being made in improving access through Universal Access to primary and secondary education, which has achieved equity and gender parity at primary level.

"Despite these gains, we not with concern a high attrition rate at secondary level that is leaving the boy child behind, one of the big drivers of out of school adolescent girls is early and unintended pregnancy," she added.

She reiterated that Namibia fully subscribes to and reaffirms her commitment to the achievement of all the SDGs and particular SDG 3, 4 and 5 on 'Health and Education for All and Gender equality', as they relate to ICPD 25, because they believe these goals are fundamental to achieving inclusive development and eradicating poverty.

"Namibia's commitment to accelerating the promise, will be achieved by supporting national programmes that address the needs of our people," she explained.

She said they are committed to programmes that accelerate the reduction in preventable maternal and neonatal morbidity, intensify the fight against gender-based violence, violence against children and violence in general, mobilize resources towards universal health coverage, including up scaling youth friendly family planning service, addressing barriers that prevent key populations from accessing public healthcare services and expanding investments into skills training and employability of young Namibians.

"We believe these measures would lead to delayed onset in child bearing, therefore reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and morality and through these measure, we hope to increase the number of years in school for both girls and boys, to ensure gender equality across the lifespan," she concluded.

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 aims to mobilise the political will and financial commitments urgently needed to finally and fully implement the Programme of Action agreed to by 179 government in 1994.

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